The field of animal-assisted counseling (AAC) is burgeoning. However, there is a paucity of research on the perspectives of mental health practitioners regarding its practice and the experience and training needed to effectively utilize AAC with clients. The purpose of this study was to explore how practitioners perceive AAC and its role in clinical settings. Perceptions of 300 mental health practitioners were assessed using a researcher-developed survey instrument. Findings indicated that a majority of practitioners (91.7%) view AAC as a legitimate counseling modality. Practitioners identified client age ranges and the top five clinical issues that would benefit from AAC. While only 12.0% of respondents had received training in AAC, 57.0% of respondents reported interest in receiving AAC training. Respondents identified types of AAC education, training, and supervision that would be sufficient for clinicians to utilize AAC. The findings from this study contribute to the emerging literature on AAC.

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