Post Professional Rotations

Dogwood Therapy Services offers post-professional rotations to a variety of healthcare providers, social service professionals, and some dog trainers. Our rotations focus on animal assisted interventions, working with people with disabilities (all ages and abilities), nature therapy, creating integrated services and program development.

Dogwoods post-professional rotations range from 1 week to 2 months, part or full time.  Arrangements are made to cater to time of year and your special interest area. Participants can expect to gain knowledge that is also contained in our workshops, but in a hands-on integrated setting.

Certificates of completion are offered. It is the participant’s responsibility to contact their local licensing or certification board to ensure the rotation can be utilized for continuing education units.

In-house rates range between $100 and $400 per day, depending upon topics, times of year, etc. A 25% deposit is required at least 60 days in advance, and is non-refundable if the visitor cancels. When available, we have a room to rent in one of our therapists or trainers homes for $25 per night, transportation to work site is included. Cost of meals not included. Rates are adjusted for longer rotations and packages can be arranged to include additional training with Assistance Dogs of the West.  

Contact us at to discuss details.


2018 Post-Professional Rotation (PPR) Availability

PPR Information and Registration Form

For more info and dates contact us at:

Hotel information
, or ask about availability of a room to rent in Melissa’s home.



Sarah's Post-Professional Experience:

While completing my graduate studies I became more inclined to research how animals impacted human behavior/quality of life and therapy outcomes.  I was frustrated by the limited research and information published on the topic of animal-assisted therapy.  Fortunately, the name “Melissa Winkle OTR/L” presented itself and her knowledge base and articles sparked my interest. 

I spent one week at Dogwood Therapy participating in a post-professional rotation.  I was immediately thrown into the “pack” and introduced to the daily life of Melissa Winkle. 

My week consisted of observing/partaking in service dog training groups, trialing therapeutic interventions using animal-assisted therapy and sitting down one-on-one with Melissa for professional development education. 

This experience has highlighted the need for increased awareness and clarification about the discrepancy between “therapy dogs” and “animal-assisted therapy”, animal behavior, and the motivational and overall impact animals have for increasing the quality of life in humans.  I am blessed to have had this experience as I am now more knowledgeable and better able to provide my patients and fellow colleagues education on these topics.  I am also now prepared to take the next step in my career to pursue my dream of incorporating animal-assisted therapy into my daily treatments.  


Kate's Post-Professional Experience:

“I spent two weeks doing a post professional rotation at Dogwood. I lived with Melissa and had a chance to follow her at both office and home. This was a really eye opening experience for me as an occupational therapist. I was able to develop a better understanding of clients and activity analysis. The broad spectrum of Dogwood clients gave me a chance to widen my understanding of the role of Occupational Therapy. 

Melissa’s therapeutic use of self and her client-therapist relationships have a tremendous positive effect on both clients and their entire families. She is an excellent teacher and has a talent for seeing the big picture and breaking it down to empower her clients to become more independent.

I learned a lot about Animal Assisted Therapy and assistance dogs, and have walked away with increased awareness about the need for national professional level of standards for AAT, safety concerns and the importance of being attentive to the clients’ AND animals’ needs during treatment sessions.

This rotation has inspired me to be a better therapist, to learn more about AAT and to believe that the use of animals will be a well developed and widely accepted therapeutic modality for occupational therapy.”

- Kate Kitaychik, OTR/L