Dr. Risë VanFleet is a licensed psychologist, registered play therapist-supervisor, and certified dog behavior consultant with over 45 years of experience working with children, families, and animals. She is the cofounder, with Tracie Faa-Thompson of the UK, of the field of Animal Assisted Play Therapy® and heads the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy®. Core values and practices of this approach include heavy emphasis on reciprocal relationships between humans and animals and full attention to animal well-being. Her book with Tracie, Animal Assisted Play Therapy, won a major award in 2018 as the best book in the human-animal bond category.
Dr. VanFleet also works with highly fearful, traumatized, unsocialised, and feral dogs using play as an important aspect of the multi-modal intervention. She is well-known for her work around the globe in speaking, training, and writing.