Patricia Flaherty-Fischette

Research Associate
Patricia Flaherty-Fischette headshot


Location Social Work


Dr. Patricia Flaherty-Fischette is an Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) researcher, teacher, and licensed clinical social worker.  She is the Clinical Director of Carousel Connections (an organization supporting young adults with intellectual disabilities), the Research Fellow for SoulPaws Recovery Project (the only outpatient Animal-Assisted Activity program for individuals struggling food and body image issues), and Research Associate & Lecturer at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research (created/taught the first-ever class on Animal-Assisted Interventions exploring AAI and trauma).  She has presented her research at several AAI and clinical conferences (ISAZ, IAHAIO, Green Chimneys, QSR, SWSRR) and has published several articles/chapters including a chapter in the most recent edition of Dr. Aubrey Fine’s Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Foundations and Guidelines for Animal-Assisted Interventions.  Dr. Patricia Flaherty-Fischette received two grants from the PA Developmental Disabilities Council in the last two years, supporting her work on trauma-informed care and her project of offering free animal-assisted therapy support groups for individuals with developmental disabilities struggling with self-regulation, relationships, body image, and connection.  Most recently, she is a Co-Principal Investigator on a research study exploring goat-assisted therapy and children with developmental disabilities entitled, “Family Members’ Perceptions of the Philly Goat Project’s All Abilities RAMbles,” with Lead Investigator, Dr. Liz Cramer (VCU Social Work) and Karen Krivit (Philly Goat Project).