Animal-Assisted Interactions (AAI)
Animal nature supports human nature by engaging us in a multi-sensory experience to connect mind, body and spirit—nature's way of healing.
- Animals, plants and humans need each other to survive—as Nature intended!
- 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.
AAI services are a critical component of the overall Nature-Based Therapeutics (NBT) initiative at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Our AAI 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.
All animals must pass screenings and evaluations for health, behavior and training. The human member of the partnership is equally accountable for the AAI session and maintains their animal's humane care and welfare as the first priority.
For further information, please contact:
Tanya K. Bailey, MSW, LICSW
Animal-Assisted Interaction Program Specialist
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
University of Minnesota