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Emotional Support Animals: Considerations for Therapists

Requests for Emotional Support Animal letters have increased exponentially in recent years, leaving many mental health professionals uncertain about their competency to provide this service. This course dives into legal definitions and considerations around ESAs as well as what national licensing bodies state about providing these letters. It also covers various aspects of determining if a client is eligible for an ESA, crafting a letter that meets requirements while protecting professionals from liability, and working with clients who make these requests. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to determine whether ESA letters are an appropriate service for their practice and provide ethical, competent service.

This 180-minute presentation is three continuing education credits. It is pre-recorded for home study, to be completed at your own pace.


$50 for the course and continuing education certificate. There are no additional fees for this course. The fee offers you lifetime access to the self-guided home study course. Because you maintain lifetime access to the learning materials, no refunds are offered for this course.


Dr. Amy Marschall is a clinical psychologist licensed in South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and New York. She is certified in TF-CBT and has extensive education in trauma-informed care, and she teaches Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children and Adolescents with PESI.

Dr. Marschall is an author and speaker, and she has a full-time private clinical practice, Resiliency Mental Health. She also created a website to distribute mental health and therapy resources to the public.

Resiliency Mental Health is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Resiliency Mental Health maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Learning Objectives

1.     Differentiate types of assistance animals, including ESAs and Service Animals, and the rights, protections, and requirements associated with each.

2.     Assess client appropriateness for an ESA through objective evaluation and treatment planning.

3.     Develop a template for responding to ESA requests from clients, both for submitting an ESA letter or recommendation and for indicating that an ESA is not appropriate.

4.     Practice educating clients about their rights and responsibilities for their ESA.

Target Audience

This is an introductory-level continuing education course for psychologists, counselors, clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists.

Statement Regarding Conflict of Interest

Dr. Marschall and Resiliency Mental Health have no financial or non-financial conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Continuing Education Course: Emotional Support Animals: Considerations for Therapists

Continuing Education Course: Emotional Support Animals: Considerations for Therapists


Course curriculum