Ethical standards and guidelines for the clinical application of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) are absent from the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (EPPCC). This study addresses that need. A series of surveys, using the Delphi method, was completed by mental health and health professionals with AAT experience. The literature review discusses existing AAT competencies and ethical guidelines, clinical applications of AAT, and limitations and difficulties in AAT research. The results of this study confirm the need for the adoption of AAT-specific ethical standards and guidelines. Standards and guidelines will (a) provide a beginning outline for the creation of ethical guidelines for AAT in clinical practice, (b) aid in AAT treatment planning considerations, and (c) serve to prevent harm to clients and animals. Ethical standards and proposed guidelines will assist clinicians in providing AAT interventions while maintaining ethical courses of action.
Keywords: animal-assisted therapy (AAT), ethical standards, animal-assisted interventions (AAI), human-animal interaction
|Advisor:||Jacquin, Kristine M|
|Commitee:||Cornelius, Alan E, Holland, Daniel C, Kogan, Lori R|
|School:||Fielding Graduate University|
|Department:||The School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Ethics|
|Keywords:||Animal-assisted interventions, Animal-assisted therapy, Ethical standards, Human-animal interaction|
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