University of North Florida | Brooks College of Health Faculty Dog
Professor Eli


Professor Eli with pony

About my Partner

Professor Eli and Dr. Taylor sitting on bench outdoorsDr. Carlene Taylor is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MH14971), a Qualified Counselor Supervisor in Florida, and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC0003048) in Georgia. She holds a Georgia Professional Teaching Certificate in School Counseling. She and her K-9 partner, Eli, are registered with the AKC and the Pet Partners Program as a Therapy Dog/Handler Team, and Dr. Taylor is a Licensed Pet Partners Team Evaluator. Dr. Taylor is also registered with the Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) with specialized training in yoga for general mental health and trauma treatment.

She is most recognized in the UNF community as a leader and advocate for Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling and the Animal-Assisted Interventions in Healthcare Initiative within the Brooks College of Health. She is also noted for her implementation science research approach to innovative program development, which led to the creation of OspreyPERCH, a UNF community mental health program that focuses on prevention, early intervention and resiliency through counseling and holistic health. OspreyPERCH provides community mental health continuum components that enhance and support UNF’s existing Counseling Center and Student Health Services.

Prior to joining the UNF faculty, Dr. Taylor served for more than 20 years in clinical practice in numerous administrative and clinical positions, working to expand high-quality clinical care to underserved populations. She is a nationally recognized expert in Human-Animal Interaction, Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling and Childhood Sexual Abuse. Her practice specialties have included working experientially with children and adolescents who have experienced sexual trauma and those who additionally became sexual offenders. In a related capacity, she provided forensic interviewing and offender risk assessment and expert testimony in cases involving child abuse for Georgia and Florida Superior Courts. The Georgia Legislature has enacted laws to expand LPC privileges and limit access to children by known sexual offenders based upon her expert witness testimony.

Dr. Taylor maintains a small private practice ( in the Jacksonville Beach area, specializing in creative and integrative techniques that involve working with humans, animals, and the natural world betterment of all.