Adjunct Professor at University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
Affiliate Faculty at The Institute for Human-Animal Connection
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,
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.
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.
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
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)
Pet Loss Education Project