POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - There’s a new kind of certificate you can get at Idaho State University. The Department of Counseling recently added a highly specialized animal-assisted intervention certificate program.
It will be available for counseling students as well as students in healthcare-related programs. The classes will be held at ISU this summer for all interested students.
Dr. Leslie Stewart, who teaches the class, was previously involved in creating the corp concepts of the curriculum. Through her work, the American Counseling Association adopted her methods in 2016. She says human-animal partnership can be very beneficial for assisted intervention, but only when it’s performed properly.
“We have some strong data that shows when an animal is used appropriately that clients view their provider as more caring and trustworthy,” Dr. Stewart said. “A positive relationship can be built more quickly and stronger than it might be without the animal for some people.”