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What Are the Animal-Assisted Interventions?

"Animal-assisted interventions are goal-oriented and structured interventions that intentionally incorporate animals in health, education and human service for the purpose of therapeutic gains and improved health and wellness." Delta Society


A Pioneer: Boris Levinson

Boris Levinson and Jingles.jpg

"This book is dedicated to Jingles, my co-therapist, 

To whom I owe more than he owes me;

Who taught me more than I taught him;

Who unveiled a new world of experience for me;

Who doesn't care whether this book is dedicated to him or not;

And who will never learn about it."

Original Dedication Made by Boris Levinson in 1969 To His Book Pet-Oriented Child Psychotherapy 

In the 1960s, ATT pioneer Dr. Boris Levinson’s practice focused on children’s therapy sessions. When Dr. Levinson’s dog, Jingles, was in the room for the child’s therapy sessions, he noticed that the sessions were much more productive. Ultimately, Dr. Levinson discovered that children who were withdrawn and had difficulty communicating were more at ease when Jingles was present and oftentimes made real attempts at engaging in conversation.


"A pet is an island of sanity in what appears to be an insane world. Friendship retains its traditional values and securities in one’s relationship with one’s pet. Whether a dog, cat, bird, fish, turtle or what have you, one can rely upon the fact that one’s pet will always remain a faithful, intimate, non-competitive friend, regardless of the good or ill fortune life brings us." Dr. Boris Levinson

Initially, many of Levinson’s peers dismissed his work. However, Levinson ignored skeptics and in 1969, he wrote a book titled “Pet-Oriented Child Psychotherapy,” thereby establishing himself as the father of animal-assisted therapy.



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