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ROOTS Institute Certificate Training

2-day Introductory Workshop ~ Exploring the Healing Power in the Human-Animal Bond

Level 1 ~ state-of-the-art online platform, one 5-day experiential learning skills course takes approximately 3 months to complete. Students will have have an informed approach to ROOTS facilitation.

Level 2 ~ state-of-the-art online platform, and two 4-day experiential learning skills courses take approximately 6 months to complete resulting in certification as a ROOTS Institute Practitioner.

Master Classes ~ advanced learning for certified ROOTS professionals

This professional certification track is open to coaches, educators, mental health professionals and other qualified individuals wanting to pursue or enhance a career in animal/equine assisted self development and animal/equine assisted psychotherapy.

All students in this track learn the same information and will have a clear understanding of the ethics and scope of practice parameters that apply to Animal Assisted Self Development and Animal Assisted Psychotherapy. This is a comprehensive, multi-disciplined, academic, on-site and distance learning, 9-month mentored program, with supervision and continuing education requirements.

Distance learning includes access to our online learning platform moderated by faculty for assignments, quizzes, discussions, and online interaction with fellow students. Onsite learning includes mentoring with ROOTS Faculty, work with equines and other social animals, mentored and role playing client sessions,and proficient skill development. These will be detailed in your syllabus after being accepted in to the program.

ROOTS Institute Meets or Exceeds the Animal Assisted Therapy Core Competencies

After a year of planning and researching, ROOTS Institute embarked on a paradigm shifting training program with five students in April of 2016. Our intention was to raise the bar out of deep respect and reverence for the human-animal bond and our animal assisted services industry. The American Counseling Association released the first gold standard for training animal assisted therapy facilitators in June 2016 and ROOTS Institute met or exceeded those standards.

We are thrilled to see these standards come in to our industry and we feel they validated the time and effort that went in to creating a training program that set out to change the paradigm in training new animal assisted intervention facilitators. The ROOTS Institute faculty takes their responsibility to our professional students, our human clients, and our nonhuman animal partners very seriously.

With priorities placed on nonhuman animal welfare, the well-being of two and four legged participants, abiding by the ethics required of a trans-species psychological services industry, and exemplifying faculty professionalism, students are fully prepared for success in a dynamic, mutually beneficial, animal assisted services field. It is for those reasons ROOTS Institute training program spans 18 months. Our goals for our students and the nonhuman animals who work with us could not be met in less time. As you will see, the AATC competencies cannot be met in many of the current training program time frames either. 

Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counseling (AATC) Competencies: 

"The ROOTS Institute of One Heart Wild Education Sanctuary is one of the most rewarding, rigorous and meaningful learning experiences I have had in my 24 year career as an education professional. The learning format of ROOTS Institute is ideal for me as a working professional. The six-module, 18 month format allows ample opportunity for hands-on learning at a pace that is suitable for adult learners, and it provides time in between modules for reading, reflection, in-depth study of topics, field observations and experiential practice. The instructors are available for support online or by phone as needed during periods of independent study, and they provide exemplary hands-on facilitation and modeling of strategies that we will be using as practitioners. Combining self-study with small group work and outdoor engagement with human and non-human animals will equip us to step into the work of facilitation confidently with clients, with a supportive community of co-learners and colleagues."

-Donna Van Renselaar,  M.Ed

ROOTS Institute Class of 2016/2017


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