Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy

Birchwood Therapeutic Services values holistic approaches to health, which is why we have incorporated Animal Assisted Therapy into our practice. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) helps improve a person’s mental, physical, social, and emotional functioning with the aid of an animal. Birchwood Therapeutic Services offers two options of AAT: Canine and Equine.


Tucker completed his therapy training in 2014 at the Red River North Obedience School. He currently tests with Pet Partners every two years to ensure he is still qualified to work in therapy sessions. Ashley and Tucker completed their Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate through Oakland University. Tucker can only be used in counseling by handler and Counselor, Ashley Thompson.



Birchwood Therapeutic Services has partnered with Lori and Victor Ricigliano from Ricigliano Farms to offer Equine Assisted Therapy. Some insurances will reimburse a portion of this service. Please contact Birchwood Therapeutic Services for more information. Sessions will be held at Ricigliano Farms.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a new and emerging field. It involves a team approach between a licensed mental health professional and an equine specialist. It is psychotherapy that promotes growth and change in people through activities that incorporate horses. EAP can address but is not limited to a variety of mental health needs including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, eating disorders, anxiety, communication issues, attention deficit disorders, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral issues, and relationship challenges.

Mia with a young client