Therapy animals are not a novel concept but a medically validated and advised therapeutic approach for people with clinical difficulties. An industry centered around this phenomenon is gaining recognition and regulation, primarily due to the efforts of experts such as Dr. Taylor Chastain Griffin, a mental health specialist and pioneer in Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI).
Currently serving as the National Director of Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) Advancement at Pet Partners, a national nonprofit, Dr. Griffin oversees the organizations’ empirical research collaborations and works with other field leaders to motivate standardization and professionalization of the interventions. Pet Partners is on a mission to create services for professionals who aim to bring the human-animal bond to their vocational practice—an initiative directed and supported by various large-scale data collection projects and in collaboration with many of the field’s most influential leaders.
During her appearance on the most recent episode of Health Corner, Dr. Griffin talked about how her greatest abilities were interacting intimately with therapy animals, interpreting their body language, and matching each patient and circumstance to the appropriate animal. She advises professionals wishing to use therapy animals in their work through her positions on several advisory boards and as a legislator, stressing the need to put one’s career first.