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AAT Advocate & Trainer

Samantha is a passionate leader in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy in Australia. Samantha co-owns Therapy Dog Training company Therapy Dogs Australia with Occupational Therapist, Jess Hill. 

Samantha has enjoyed the opportunity to speak at a number of professional engagements on the topic of AAT. These have included the 50th national Australia Psychological Society conference on the Gold Coast in 2015, as well as a quarterly Grand Round Psychiatrist meeting in 2015. In 2016 Samantha was invited to co-present at a Psychiatrists conference in Hobart. Samantha also spoke to a variety of health professionals including GP's and Psychologists at a Metro South SEAGP meeting in 2014. Samantha is also an active animal advocate, sitting as the co-founder & President of not-for-profit organisation, Project P.A.W.S. One of their initiatives is the Queenslanders Against Dog Theft Facebook page.      

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Samantha King B.Psyc.Sc(hons), MAPS 
Psychologist | Clinic Director

Born & raised in Redcliffe, Samantha has a passion for community mental health and is inspired to provide a quality service to our local community. 

Samantha's clinical interest has been with working with people across the lifespan. She is passionate about working with children, adolescents and adults at PAAW. She has a special interest in working with ASD clients. 

Prior to opening the PAAW practice (March 2015), Samantha worked in other private practices, at a headspace centre, and as a School Psychologist at a large Gold Coast high school. 

Samantha obtained a Diploma of Community Welfare Work and a Certificate IV in Theology before graduating from a Bachelor of Psychological Science at The University of Queensland in 2010. She is currently studying a Certificate in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, and a Certificate IV in Dog Training. 

Samantha is  generally registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Samantha is also a  Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS)

​​​ Animal Assisted Therapist

Samantha is the owner of Sonny, Isabelle & Oliver as well as Aunty to Elouise, she has trained all four dogs since puppies to become Mental Health Therapy Dogs. Samantha has also enjoyed the opportunity in 2017 to delve in to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with colleague and friend, Dr. Anja Kriegskotten. She is attending formal EAGALA training in September 2018.

Sam discovered AAT after purchasing Sonny as an 8 week old puppy, and taking him to group training classes. Dog training became an enjoyable hobby, especially with Sonny proving to be a star student! Once Sam heard about Therapy Dogs and started doing some research in to the field, she realised that her and Sonny would make a fantastic human-canine team.

The therapist-canine team partnership a very important element in determining whether AAT will be successful for the client. The bond between the therapist and therapy dog is gained through trust, training, patience and communication. Sam reads canine body language and uses that to communicate with the dogs in a way that they understand. This allows Sam to facilitate the HAB between the dog and client, which is the crux of how AAT is successful.