is partnering with the Arizona State University School of Social Work
to provide a series of courses leading to certification of counselors
in the treatment of animal abuse. Part of our broader project on the
link, the relationship between animal abuse and human violence, these
online courses provide broader and easier access to the AniCare
treatment approaches that ASI has developed.
The courses are open to Masters or PhD level professionals in such
disciplines as social work, psychology, nursing, counseling, psychiatry
and other health and human service professionals with Masters or PhDs
and will include CEUs.
TAA1 Human-Other Animal Relationships (14 weeks) Fall semester, 2011.
This course focuses on two broad areas of current significance for
health and human service professionals;(1) the link between non-human
animal abuse and other forms of violence such as domestic violence,
child and elder abuse; and (2) the powerful potential that positive
connections with other animals have for healing and promoting
resiliency in human beings while at the same time benefiting other
animals. This course examines issues of prevention and treatment; it
considers animals across the human life span, non-human animal abuse,
and healing connections within an ecological and empowerment context;
and works to build sensitivity to various cultural contexts. Course
runs September - December.
TAA2 Assessment and Treatment of Animal Abuse (14 weeks) Spring semester, 2012.
Designed for both mental health practitioners and other professionals
working with adults and children, this course presents AniCare an
assessment and treatment approach for children and adults and children
who have abused animals. Based on a well-established clinical theory
and interventions for perpetrators of domestic violence, AniCare
emphasizes the social-psychological causes of violence. Building on
cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and attachment theories, AniCare
Child keys on empathy and self-management. Through a manual, a
demonstration DVD, and clinical case materials, students are introduced
to a variety of exercises and other tools, such as puppet role play and
The program is delivered online using the ASU University Blackboard system. Information about registration is at http://ssw.asu.edu/admissions-degrees/scholarships/graduate-certificate-program-in-treating-animal-abuse or contact Dr. Christina Risley-Curtiss (firstname.lastname@example.org). Deadline for TAA1 is August 1, 2011; Deadline for TAA2 is January 1, 2012.
Each course costs $900, which includes the cost of the Blackboard availability and support as well as registration fees.
Scholarships are available based on need; for further information contact Dr. Ken Shapiro (email@example.com).
About the Professional Development Certification Program
The School of Social Work and Animals and Society Institute’s
Treating Animal Abuse Professional Development Certification Program is a
non-credit online program focused on training advanced level health and
human service practitioners to treat those children and adults who have
abused animals. Animal abuse is a very serious and alarming behavior.
For children it is one of the early manifestations of conduct
problems associated with “low empathy and callous disregard” (Dadds,
Whiting & Hawes, 2006, p 141) and requires intervention (Merz-Perez
& Heide, 2004). A substantial body of research also suggests that
animal cruelty may be early indicator of later violence toward humans,
as well as often one of a cluster of deviant behaviors in families such
as domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse.
The purpose of the certification program is to enhance practitioners’
knowledge of human-animal relationships and ability to assess for, and
treat animal abuse. It will provide practitioners with extensive
knowledge on the assessment of human-animal relationships and treatment
of animal abuse through such activities as directed readings in evidence
based journal articles and books, online lectures, service learning,
field observation, individual research papers, experiential projects and
Twenty-eight states contain counseling provisions in their animal
cruelty laws. Four of those states (California, Indiana, Iowa, and
Tennessee) require counseling for all persons convicted of animal
cruelty. Colorado orders counseling for a second offense and Florida for
acts of intentional torture or torment. Kansas and West Virginia
require an evaluation. Six other states mandate counseling for
Counseling can include the perpetrator as well as his/her immediate
family. It is recommended when counseling children who have abused
animals that their parents be involved. Legislators in many other areas
are considering such mandates. There is an emerging need for
practitioners to be trained in treating animal abuse. This is the first
program that we know of to do so.
This professional development certificate is open to Masters or PhD
level professionals in such disciplines as social work, psychology,
nursing, counseling, psychiatry and other health and human service
professionals with Masters or PhDs and will include CEUs. This is a NOT
FOR credit program. A minimum of a Master’s degree is required to enter
the program but professionals with a bachelor’s degree in health or
human services can take any of the courses with CEUs available.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Christina Risley-Curtiss is
an associate professor of Social Work at Arizona State University as
well as Co-Director of the Child Welfare Training Project and an
Affiliate with the ASU Women and Gender Studies Program. She has over
20 years of practice and management experience in a combination of
public health and child welfare. She has authored/co-authored many
publications and presented numerous scholarly papers and workshops to
various state and national and international groups. Most recently she
presented on assessment and treatment of animal abuse at the Alberta
Canada SPCA violence conference. Her primary areas of research are in
the areas of the animal-human bond and child welfare. Her
course-Animal-Human Connections, won the HSUS 2004 Society and Animals
New Course Award. She has national study of social work practitioner's
knowledge of the animal-human bond in press in Social Work and
founded and directs a grant funded program for treatment of children
who abuse animals. She is the former chair The Arizona Humane LINK, a
coalition of animal welfare and human service agencies in Maricopa
Dr. Kenneth Shapiro is founder and executive director of Animals and Society Institute, founding editor of Society and Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies; and cofounding coeditor of Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.
Shapiro earned his BA from Harvard University and his PhD in clinical
psychology from Duke University. His most recent book is Animal Models of Human Psychology: Critique of Science, Ethics and Policy.
Ken and his colleagues developed the AniCare model for assessing and
treating animal cruelty. He does training in this model nationally.