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Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)

Animal-assisted therapy is the incorporation of a qualified therapy animal with a human handler into the therapy process. The animal works as a supplemental agent of change in conjunction with a qualified professional therapist of a particular field. Most often the therapist is also the handler of the animal, and the animal is often the personal pet of the therapist. But sometimes the therapy animal is the pet of a handler who is a trained volunteer working under the direction of a professional therapist. The professional therapist supervises and/or performs the facilitation of human-animal interactions (HAIs) with a client or patient to assist with achievement of therapeutic goals.


Chandler, C.K. (2021). Animal-Assisted Therapy. In: Gu, D., Dupre, M.E. (eds) 


A bit about Nugget

Nugget is now 3 years old.  He was chosen for his temperament, known to be friendly, gentle, and intelligent.  Nugget was the runt of a litter of 3, so some work had to go into teaching him that he is stronger than he thinks.


He lives with his human family but also has a surrogate canine mum, Shiva, who would be lost without him, two feline "friend" and four chickens.

Nugget considers himself somewhat of an IG celebrity running his own page @nugget_myturn2talk

Nugget retired early as "mum" changed the focus of her practice from client facing to supervising, but any chance he gets, he will head into the office, even if it's just to sit on the couch listening to a Zoom call.


Nugget, a Cockalier (Cocker Spaniel x King Charles Spaniel), is a retired therapy dog working behind the scenes and is a voice for the ethical treatment of all Therapy Animals.

Nugget knows how intense the training can be and how gruelling therapeutic schedules can become, so he pops up every now and then to remind us that first 1) he is a dog and a loyal companion, who loves unconditionally  and 2) he is a working dog.

Nugget's Training & Experience

Nugget's Training includes:

  • Puppy School - Dogs of VIC

  • Basic Obedience - Dogs of VIC

  • Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) - Lead the Way

Nugget has worked at the myturn2talk office as well as in the field at various primary schools.

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