Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC is a licensed psychologist, registered play therapist-supervisor, and certified dog behavior consultant who directs both the Playful Pooch Program and the Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center in Boiling Springs, PA. \
She has over 40 years of experience working with children, parents, families, and groups in a variety of mental health and educational settings. Her work developing Animal Assisted Play Therapy brought her more fully into the dog training/consultation world, and she teaches mental health professionals about canine ethology, development, communication, and behavior/training for their AAPT work. She has volunteered her training/behavior services at a local rescue for the past decade, and provides in-home dog behavior consultation with families and other rescue organizations.
She has a special interest in highly fearful, unsocialized, and traumatized dogs, and has pioneered the systematic use of play as part of their rehabilitation. She regularly presents at national and international conferences. She is the author of dozens of professional books, chapters, and articles about child/family therapy, play therapy, and dog training, and of the acclaimed Human Half of Dog Training: Collaborating with Clients to Get Results (Dogwise, 2013).
She has received 12 national awards for her contributions to the field of psychology and her writing, including several books and articles honored with DWAA awards. She is currently writing a guide for dog trainers and behaviorists on how to work with traumatized dogs. She regularly learns from her 5 dogs and 3 cats.