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  • Adjunct Professor at University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

  • Affiliate Faculty at The Institute for Human-Animal Connection

  • Contact

  • Biography

    Adam Clark, LCSW, AASW is a Licensed Clinical Social Work (LCSW) graduate from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work where he received his Animal-Assisted Social Work (AASW) Certification through the Institute for Human-Animal Connection and specialized in Family Systems work. Currently, Adam is focusing on receiving his Doctorate in Advanced Clinical Social Work (DSW) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice as a 2024 doctoral candidate. He is focusing his studies on: veterinary social work (VSW), morals/ethics surrounding the human-animal connection, belief in the animal mind (BAM), as well as animals' forced role in oppressive practices and systemic injustices.  

    Adam found himself focusing on pet loss and bereavement during his tenure at the Colorado State Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Argus Institute, as a Clinical Counselor after graduate school. Subsequently, Adam started his private practice of Equine Assisted Therapy working with families as well as specializing in tweens, teens and young adults in biofeedback modalities for teens and young adults. 

     In order to enhance his understanding of grief and loss, Adam moved into the realm of human hospice as a Medical Social Worker at Suncrest Hospice in Denver, Colorado, and in administration as a Director of Support Services at an emerging hospice program. In addition, Adam spent time as a Crisis Counselor working at Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, advancing his clinical and critical intervention skills working with a variety of high-risk callers and at-risk populations frequently engaging in suicidal/homicidal interventions. Lastly, Adam spent time working as a Float/Trauma Clinician at Children's Hospital of Colorado as a pediatric Social Worker. 

     Adam has been in partnership with horses for the last decade, at first starting with multiple horse rescues and initially receiving training in the EAGALA model as an Equine Specialist. Adam found so much impact within the horse-human connection that he went to graduate school specifically for Equine Assisted work. Now, Adam has over five years of experience with private practice, developing and honing skills at Zuma's Rescue Ranch in Colorado before relocating to Oregon. Adam currently serves as a Mental Health Provider within an outpatient setting and has paused his equine practice to focus on teaching, writing, and consulting.

     Adam is the founder of Pet Loss Education Project, his consulting practice, whose focus is on reducing the cultural stigma associated with pet loss, supporting pet owners, and educating professionals. Adam educates and supports veterinary professionals within his practice in self-care strategies, time management, communication techniques, clinic growth, and personal/professional balance. Most recently Adam has been actively involved in consulting roles with the American Humane Society, American Veterinary Medical Association, as well as Barkbox. Within his role at Pet Loss Education Project, Adam has launched a growing audience through social media, Pet Loss Education and Support, as well as reaching nearly two million readers within his online Column for Psychology Today, Animal Attachment. Adam’s column is aimed at the human-animal bond and focuses on issues at end of life between pets and their human counterparts. 

     Adam has taught over 700 graduate and undergraduate social work students as an Adjunct Professor across three universities since 2016. Within this role, Adam has taught 22 different courses a total of 63 times with a primary clinical social work focus. Currently, Adam has the honor of being an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work and has held historical Adjunct positions at both Portland State University School of Social Work and The College of Saint Rose School of Social Work Programs.

    Adam has been involved with the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (IHAC) upon entering graduate school. Since graduating, Adam has been invited back to participate in guest lectures and consultations as needed for the last five years. Adam has since moved into the role of Affiliate Faculty for IHAC since 2018 and continues to work within a variety of supportive roles and consultation within the Institute, including contribution as an author within Transforming Trauma: Resilience and Healing Through Our Connections With Animals (Purdue University Press, 2019).   

     In his personal time, Adam has an obsession with good coffee. He enjoys hiking, reading, spending time with the two and four-legged beings within his life and exploring all that Oregon has to offer.

  • Recent Guest Lectures

    1. Clark, A. (October, 2019). Application of Human-Animal Interaction for Social Work
    Professionals. Guest lecture for Graduate Students at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work.

    2. Clark, A. (August, 2019). Clients experience of pet loss, grief, and bereavement with an
    overview of the associated cultural stigma, clinical focus. Guest lecture for Animal
    Assisted Social Work Graduate Students at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.

    3. Clark, A. (March, 2019). Preparing Social Workers to Address Pet Loss, Bereavement,
    and Related Stress. Guest lecture for Graduate Students at the College of St. Rose
    Masters of Social Work Program.

    Recent Academic Workshops

    1. Clark, A., & Clark, K. (October, 2015). Exploring interactivity, connectivity, and the
    umwelt theory within therapeutic interactions and the human-animal bond. Interactive
    workshop for Animal Assisted Social Work Students from University of Denver
    Graduate School of Social Work at Zoology Foundation, Crooked Willow Farms,
    Larkspur, Colorado.

    2. Clark, A., & Tedeschi, P. (May, 2015). Humane education, the human-animal bond, and
    the umwelt theory. Interactive workshop for Animal Assisted Social Work Students
    from University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work at Zoology Foundation,
    Crooked Willow Farms, Larkspur, Colorado.

    Refereed Symposiums

    1. Clark, A., Pearson, J., Tedeschi, P., & McDonald, S. E. (October, 2015). Preparing social
    workers to address pet loss, bereavement, and related stress. Interactive Workshop in
    the Clinical Practice Track, 61st Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social
    Work Education, Denver, CO.

    Invited Scholarly Symposiums

    1. Clark, A., McVety, D. (July, 2018). The Human-Animal Bond & Veterinary Medicine.
    Presentation at American Veterinary Medical Law Association, “25th Annual
    Continuing Education Seminar.” Denver, Colorado.

    2. Clark, A. (April, 2015). Building children’s resiliency through their first pet loss
    experience. Presentation at Human-Animal Interaction Conference, “Growing
    Together: Children, Animals and Sowing the Seeds of Resiliency.” Green Chimney’s,
    Brewster, New York.

    3. Clark, A. (October, 2014). Enmeshment and detachment within the human-animal
    bond. Presentation at 43rd Annual Veterinary Technicians Conference, Colby
    Community College, Colby, Kansas.

    4. Clark, A. (November, 2013). Assisting your clients with pet bereavement, grief, and loss.
    Interactive workshop at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado, Education
    Retreat, Loveland, Colorado.

  • Curriculum Vitae


  • Transforming Trauma Textbook

    Cohen, S. & Clark, A. (2019). The importance of human-animal relationships in the context of loss, grief, and bereavement. In P. Tedeschi & M. Jenkins (Ed.), Transforming trauma: Resilience and healing through our connections with animals. Purdue University Press.

  • University of Denver Graduate Courses Taught

    SOWK 4001: Clinical Social Work Skills 

    SOWK 4003: Clinical Social Work Theory and Practice

    SOWK 4235: Disproportionality and Disparity Across Systems

    SOWK 4250: Concentration Seminar I, II & III

    SOWK 4330: Assessment of Mental Health in Adults

    SOWK 4338: Assessment of Mental Health Across the Lifespan

    SOWK 4340: Leadership and Supervision Skills

    SOWK 4730: Cognitive Behavioral Therapies 

    SOWK 4741: Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan

    SOWK 4784: Suicide Assessments and Interventions

    SOWK 4970: Concentration Field

    SOWK 4990: Virtual Field Experience (VFX)

  • College of St. Rose Courses Taught

    SWK 114: Introduction to Social Work (Undergraduate)

    SWK 489: Understanding & Influencing Policy (Undergraduate)

    SWK 589: Policy Practice (Graduate)

    SWK 680: Intro to Animal-Assisted Interventions (Graduate)

  • Portland State University Graduate Courses Taught

    SWK 530: Practice with Individuals and Families I: Theory and Engagement

    SWK 531: Practice with Individuals and Families I: Theory and Assessment

  • IHAC Courses Taught

    SOWK 4795: Integration of Animals Into Therapeutic Settings (Prior to July 7th, 2021)

    SOWK 4795: Foundations for Human-Animal-Environment Interactions in Social Work (Updated July 7th, 2021)

    SOWK 4796: Animal-Assisted Social Work Practice

    Animals In Human Health Professional Certification
    Courses Taught

    Orientation to Animal-Assisted Interventions

    Animal Partners in Animal-Assisted Interventions

  • Courses Developed

    College of St. Rose

    SWK 680: Intro to Animal-Assisted Interventions (Graduate)

    This course provides an introduction to the integration of animals into therapeutic settings. The course will discuss important considerations when applying human-animal interaction from a social work perspective. This course takes into consideration the important aspects of animal welfare, the link between human-animal interaction and considerations for further practice, and a beginning overview of veterinary social work application(s).

  • Psychology Today Contribution(s)

    Column: Animal Attachment

    Expert Contributor: Adam Clark, LCSW, AASW

  • Relevant Links

  • Pet Loss Education Project

This portfolio last updated: 21-Dec-2022 1:17 PM