Denver counseling services





If you haven't yet heard about AATPC you may not know that we are the largest comprehensive counseling and professional training center in Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Psychotherapy (AAP) in North America! Our Headquarters is in Lakewood, CO at our Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch (Center for Animal Assisted Therapy). Barking C.A.A.T. has a small 102 year old cottage that houses our offices, and is on a small ranch property, all in the heart of Denver. It is home to 10 rescued or re-homed animals, including horses, goats, cats, rats & rabbits. Most of our 10 clinicians also work with their trained and Certified therapy dogs. We also have an office in Boulder, and soon Evergreen!

We have earned a reputation for our non-traditional counseling approach that is based in sound counseling practice, while also integrating a range of animals. Our training center provides the only Certification program in the America's that traines AAP specialists. Therapists, social workers, psychiatrists and educators come from all over the world to participate in our workshops and learn from our experts.

At AATPC we have highly trained and experienced Licensed Counselors and Therapists, each of whom works within their own area of specialty. In addition we have the Scholarship Program, a Low Fee service for those clients in need of a sliding fee scale.

One of the things that makes us special and unique is the combination of each clinician's extensive training and experience in their area of specialization, plus additional training and Certification in the specialization of Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Psychotherapy. We practice mainstream, traditional counseling and therapy, while supplementing your treatment with the benefits of animals.

We believe in the therapeutic and calming effect that animals can have in healing. Each of our clinicians works with at least one trained and Certified therapy animal, which may include dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, rats or goats. Clients are matched to the therapist that is not only most qualified to help with the individual's concerns, and may work with any of our therapy animals.

We care deeply about our clients and their comfort. Our office environment was carefully chosen to be relaxing and welcoming. While some sessions will take place within one of our cottage offices, because we can use a non-traditional approach, we may also work outside, in the arena or barn, or in our gazebo near the creek. Having this flexibility is especially helpful with our child and teen clients, who respond very well to this non-traditional approach. Many of our young clients do not even feel as though they are coming to "therapy" because their time with their therapist and therapy animal provides a fun way to work.

Because we work as a team, we can also introduce multiple animals to the treatment process, as may be appropriate. For example, while you work with your primary counselor and her therapy dog Rupert, there may be sessions where it would helpful to work with Cody, one of our horses. Our clients' needs and preferences always come first. We design a treatment plan with the assistance of the client (and parent or caregiver in the case of a child or teen) and design interventions that fall within a traditional therapeutic orientation (such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), but may include novel and even fun activities with the animal. At AATPC we emphasize meeting your therapuetic goals in a professional, cost-effective and timely manner.

We are within the Denver Metro area, having our main office and Ranch in Lakewood, CO and a satellite office in Boulder. Both offices have close and ample parking, and can easily be reached by public transportation. Our psychotherapists work with you to arrange a convenient appointment time during the day, evenings or weekend. As a community resource we keep our fees below the regional average to be accessible to clients with varying financial resources.

At AATPC we continually strive to maintain the highest level of professionalism while maintaining a safe, welcoming and nurturing counseling environment. Our therapists continue to stay up to date with learning the most effective therapeutic techniques in addition to advances in animal assisted therapy.

We have developed a very unique, time-efficient and cost-effective method of therapy called "Filial Pet Therapy" where in some cases we can train parents to work at home with the assistance of their own pets. Click here to read more about Filial Pet Therapy.

AATPC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization.

Our therapy teams work with all types of clients including:

Our therapy teams have been brought together because each has a different specialty and area of expertise. We have several types of animal partners, including dogs, cats, goats and horses. Each team works with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your goals, whether they are specific or general.

Some of the areas we work with are:

To learn more about how one of our Professional Therapy Teams can help, or to schedule a consultation, you may call us at: 720-266-4444 x0, or send us a confidential email by clicking here. We look forward to working with you.

And check out our blog where in the Animal Assisted Therapy category we describe how our therapists work with many of the challenges listed above. You'll also find helpful information in the Parenting and other categories.

"The facility is like a 'secret garden' - you don't expect this wonderland of a mini-ranch center when you arrive and park on the street. The foliage is abundant and nurturing; the intention of creating a space to feel safe in is evident. Small seating areas and nooks are plentiful. The cottage-type atmosphere conveys a feeling of trust and hope. The grounds are secure for the animals and small children with a feeling of security - not too much space to get lost in; just enough to express a sense of freedom in a child or adult"

Shirley  Williams, LCSW, NCTMB, CR

Workshop Participant



Girl hugging Stormy, therapy horse

Animals in therapy can help develop autonomy, patience, identity, self-control, empathy, and self-esteem.


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