Through our counseling and training programs, Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado provides and promotes animal assisted psychotherapy with rescued animals to facilitate healing for all people in need. Our motto is "Rescued Animals Rescuing People".
Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado (AATPC) is a 501c3 state-recognized community mental health center that combines research-based psychotherapy with the healing power of the human-animal bond to treat clients of varying mental health concerns. Believing in the powerful effect animals have in healing and facilitating change, Dr. Linda Chassman and Ellen Winston founded AATPC in 2010. At that time, AATPC was one of the first in the nation to integrate teams of professional therapists with a variety of rescued therapy animals to facilitate the counseling and psychotherapy process; a practice known as animal assisted psychotherapy. Then, in 2013, after realizing access to mental health services was a challenge for many Coloradans who were low-income, under insured, or uninsured, it became AATPC's mission to ensure animal assisted psychotherapy was available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. It was then that AATPC received its 501(c)(3) designation.
Serving primarily the Denver Metro community, the organization provided animal assisted psychotherapy sessions to over 330 clients in 2020; 73% of these clients were low-income and likely would otherwise be unable to afford services. The organization has become a favored referral site for Probation, Victims Assistance and Social Services organizations around Colorado, and works closely with area graduate programs such as University of Denver and Regis University, to provide masters-level internships for young professionals entering the field. It's professional training programs and certificate program has garnered world-wide respect and is now offered internationally, reaching professionals as far as Australia.
Located on the Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch (Center for Animal Assisted Therapy), AATPC provides clients with a wide range of animal species to work with. The harmonious integration of rescued animals into the traditional therapy practice creates unique opportunities for change. "It's the type of therapy that works, often for whom other therapy has failed," describes an AATPC counselor. Unique to the organization, all animals have been rescued or rehomed with AATP. The organization provides them life-long comfort and care, while giving them the opportunity to participate as therapy animals at the ranch. This is what inspired the organization's motto, "Rescued Animals Rescuing People.
I support AATPC because of their purpose to help people deal with their issues. In the process, they adopt helpless animals, and these animals also assist in helping the people. It's a win win situation for all, making it a great Colorado organization to receive my support.
For several years, we have sought out therapy. This is the first place my son has felt comfortable with both the environment and the therapist to be willing to engage. Although progress is slow, this is the best therapeutic result we have ever seen. The approach of the therapist and the open ended questions has been great. I do not know what therapy options we would have left if it wasnt for this program. The animals give my son a positive sense of distraction that calms his fears about opening up.
I donated to AATPC because it is a great organization that loves animals and does what it can to take care of them and make them safe.
Wonderful atmosphere. My daughter would always get excited to go to therapy to work with the animals. Her therapist and the animals both helped her to overcome a great deal of her struggles and we are very grateful.
Thank you for helping us. I truly don't believe he would've opening up in traditional therapy.
My child had been having behavioral and social problems with children at school this past academic year and I was lost on what to do. We had previously tried another Denver counselor, but I did not see any improvement in my child's behavior. As I researched on the internet, I came across Animal Assisted Therapy Program of Colorado and knew that my child loved animals. We began working with Ellen Kinney and her dog Sasha for 7 months now. I began observing how my child calms down when an animal is present; so I bought a pug for my child. In March, my child started attending a group therapy session offered through Animal Assisted Therapy Program of Colorado that involved other kids with social and behavioral needs and slowly but surely, I saw my child improve in behavior both at school and at home. I HIGHLY recommend Animal Assisted Therapy Program of Colorado!