Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

Scott Loe

Second Committee Member

Katherine Lee

Third Committee Member

Samuel Song

Fourth Committee Member

Kathleen Bergquist

Number of Pages



Animal-assisted therapy can greatly benefit mental health professionals with clients in and out of the school settings in many ways. It is believed mental health professionals are successfully implementing Animal Assisted Therapy, even though some are not. Mental health professionals who are not using Animal Assisted Therapy are not doing so as the result of various variables, such as lack of information, knowledge, training, certification and policies, which prevents them from using Animals Assisted Therapy with clients and the community. It is also believed some mental health professionals are using animals as part of therapeutic interventions without proper training. The purpose of this pilot study was to identify the level of understanding licensed mental health providers throughout the State of Nevada, in and out of the school setting, have of Assisted Animal Therapy and differences between animals and support animals as well as identifying the use of Animals Assisted Therapy in practice. A sample of 42 Nevada licensed mental health professionals participated in the study. Findings, while not a representation of the target population, displayed participants current use, extent of use, viewpoints and understanding of Assisted Animal Therapy.


AAT; Assisted Animal Therapy; Licensed Mental Health Providers; Mental Health; Nevada


Educational Psychology | Mental and Social Health | Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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