The Science Behind The Human-Animal Bond & The Application of Those Principles to Promote General Wellness

Provides 2 LEAP CE Credit Hours via Zoom Webinar (Approved by the GA State Board of Vet Med)
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
6 – 7:40 pm

This presentation will outline the state of the empirical research that supports the human-animal bond both in terms of both animal assisted interventions (AAI) and general pet ownership. Differences between the various working animal titles will be discussed, and standards of practice to support AAI will be outlined. Finally, in noting some of the key lessons related to psychological wellness that we can learn from our animals, practical suggestions to promote human mental wellbeing will be provided. Through this dialogue, participants will be introduced to self-care techniques, skills to promote social connectedness in the workplace, and resiliency training that helps protect against issues of moral distress and compassion fatigue.

If you can’t attend this webinar, stay tuned for further announcements on upcoming dates. You can also view our Calendar here.

GVMA LEAP CE is free to GVMA Members. Non-members are required to pay a $250 registration fee. It saves to be a member!


Taylor Chastain, Ph.D.
Human-Animal Interaction Section of the American Psychological Association
In her role as National Director of AAI Advancement for Pet Partners, Taylor Chastain, Ph.D., focuses on supporting research and professional development within the therapy animal arena. Having witnessed hundreds of interactions between her own therapy animals and the people with whom they’ve visited, Taylor is passionate about supporting the intervention with empirical investigation. To support this goal, she obtained her doctorate in research psychology in 2018, with her studies focusing on the human-animal bond as it is experienced in contexts of shared traumatic experiences. Through her undergraduate education in psychology and animal behavior to her graduate work to become a mental health counselor, Taylor has always strived to shape her educational and professional endeavors with the foundational goal of promoting AAI. Taylor is also a dog trainer and Pet Partners team evaluator, and has been a registered handler with Pet Partners since 2015. Taylor is based in Georgia where she lives with her 7 dogs.

Ashley Tolleson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
Atlanta Innovative Counseling Center, LLC
Dr. Tolleson is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC) specializing in trauma-informed, strengths-based, and creative approaches to counseling children, adolescents, adults, and families. She received a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Practice from Georgia State University. Staying current and involved in counseling research on ethics and techniques, Dr. Tolleson continues to publish in professional journals, attend and present at counseling conferences and workshops, and is an adjunct professor at Georgia State University in the Counseling and Psychological Services department.
“I aim to create a cooperative, supportive relationship where clients feel safe to explore and begin working through current life difficulties. I view my role as collaborative, where I work alongside clients to identify goals and move toward them together. I believe it is important to meet clients where they are and do my best to understand their unique perspectives, life experiences, and cultural identities. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to serve clients in a variety of settings, including private practice, community agencies, shelters, schools, universities, and hospitals. My experience includes helping clients face a multitude of issues ranging from anxiety, depression, grief, traumatic stress, relationships, family conflict, life transitions, school issues, behavioral challenges, self-esteem, identity, and chronic illness, among others. I continue to be inspired and humbled by the many clients who have allowed me to be a part of their healing journeys.”