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Advanced Techniques for Human Engagement

Online Module

This module is for animal related professionals such as veterinarians and veterinary technicians. In this online module, you will learn from two experts in the field of social work—Dr. Elizabeth Strand and Christy Hickman. This five-section module contains narrated presentations from both of the speakers, supplementary videos, as well as tests for comprehension The module takes approximately 2.5hrs to complete. You can pause and resume as needed.

Topics covered include:

  • brain states
  • communication skills
  • motivational interviewing
  • acceptance and commitment therapy
  • positive psychology

To Purchase this Module, Click HERE

This module is available for purchase year round. This module is a part of the Veterinary Human Support Certificate. Though it is a part of the certificate, you can purchase and complete this course even if you are not enrolled.


Christy Hickman, LCSWChristy Hickman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Social Work. Christy has been involved in social work education since 2002. Christy has also served as the Assistant Director of the Safety, Environment, and Education Center (now known as the Center for Health Education and Wellness) at UT. Prior to that, Christy worked at the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS) where she developed the Child Welfare Certification Program for social work majors interested in pursuing a career in public child welfare. Christy has been working in the field of social services for 30 years.Christy has an interest in mindfulness and the use of mindfulness as a tool for personal and professional development. Christy has recently been accepted to a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program and looks forward to deepening her capacity to teach mindfulness to others.

Dr. Elizabeth Strand, LCSW

Dr. Strand with a dogDr. Elizabeth Strand is the Founding Director of Veterinary Social Work (VSW) at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a licensed clinical social worker, experienced family therapist, Grief Recovery Specialist, and a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher. She has been working in the field of social work for over 20 years. She also is trained as a Rule 31 Mediator, Child, and Adult Anicare Animal Abuse Treatment counselor, a Compassion Fatigue Specialist and holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work. Her interest-areas include the link between human and animal violence, animals in family systems, the development of veterinary social work, communication skills, conflict resolution, and stress management techniques in animal-related environments. Her professional mission is to encourage the humane treatment of both people and animals and to care for those professionals who care for animals.

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