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Additional Information About AAI
Nature-Based Therapeutics Home
For consultations, questions, and more information, contact:
Dr. Jean Larson, PhD, CTRS, HTR
Manager, Nature-Based Therapeutics Services
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Center for Spirituality and Healing
Animal-Assisted Interactions direct services provides individual and group programming. Services are offered on-site or at other appropriate facilities in the Twin Cities metro area.
Animal-Assisted Interactions direct services provide individual and group programming to accomplish any all of the following well-being objectives:
Animal partners currently include horses, dogs and chickens. When appropriate, our trained staff also work with donkeys, llamas, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Services are offered on-site or at other appropriate facilities in the Twin Cities metro area. See EXAMPLES section, below.
- Animals relax the human brain and body—we experience the world in a supportive, nurturing light and make more grounded decisions.
- Animal-human relationships are rooted in the moment and provide immediate and impartial feedback—animals keep us real.
- Animals remind us of the web of life and are excellent role models of Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements:
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Don't make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
WHO WE ARE
Animal-Assisted Interactions services are provided by trained professionals who practice within the scope of their education, training, licensure or accreditation, and who partner with specially-selected and trained adult, domestic animals to meet specific measurable outcomes for people. These trained human professionals and animals form "AAI Teams", and as sentient beings, the animals are partners - co-instructors - and are not used.
Trained, caring staff strive to maintain best practices in all we do in our Animal-Assisted Interactions services. This includes guidelines and policies set forth by two internationally recognized organizations - PATH International and Pet Partners.
- Horses: grooming, leading, training, and assisted/adaptive riding.
- Dogs: literacy development with R.E.A.D. Dogs MN, training, walking, play.
- Chickens: observation and training, relaxation exercises, husbandry.
Individuals and groups who receive services:
- Schools: Including focused areas, such as preschools, Head Start, special education, charter schools, and homeschool networks.
- Youth-based organizations and services: including community mental health centers, hospitals, corrections, chemical health, group homes/residential treatment facilities, eating disorders clinics, and mentoring organizations (Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Girl Scouts).
- Adult-based organizations and services: including community mental health centers, hospitals, corrections, chemical health, group homes/residential treatment facilities, eating disorders clinics, senior care facilities, dementia care facilities, veteran-specific organizations and services, family support services, and workforce development.
All animals must pass screenings and evaluations for health, behavior and training. The human member of the partnership is equally accountable for the Animal-Assisted Interactions session and maintains their animal's humane care and welfare as the first priority.