Can A Therapist Prescribe An Emotional Support Animal
Mental health professionals including counselors, therapists, psychologists, and others that fit in the profession can write ESA letters.
Selecting an appropriate therapist for the ESA Letter is important. I want to encourage you to choose a counselor that you trust and feel comfortable with. If you are stuck in the decision, try to call or email.
Contacting a counselor near you can give you space to talk about what the ESA process is. This way you have an idea of who the counselor is and their style of treatment before the first session.
Click here to schedule using the online portal.
Common people that seek ESA Letter
You know your support animal. Having a support animal extends beyond a pet. It’s much deeper. When a person struggles with mental health, they may experience bad or unwanted symptoms. Such as, bad thoughts, low energy, or feeling anxious. The negative symptoms create an unwanted impact on the person’s life.
Think about your life. Consider your goals and objectives.
- How does your mental health impact you in those areas?
- Do you notice that your mental health makes it challenging to do certain things?
- Like being social or shifting from an unwanted mood?
Having a support animal can provide you with safety, comfort, and direct support in addressing negative symptoms while promoting positive changes. A support animal can for some be the force that encourages positive physical activity.
Below are common people that seek ESA Letter
- You receive emotional support from your support animal.
- You have a healthy relationship with your support animal.
- You notice that your support animal provides you with a space to reduce negative or unwanted symptoms.
- The ESA letter is connected to the place you live or travel reasons. Such as wanting your support animal to travel with you.
Mental Health Benefits Of An Emotional Support Animal
- Decrease in stress levels.
- Increase in oxytocin. This hormone is referred to as the love hormone.
- Reduction in negative symptoms.
- Positive support.
- Increase in social interactions.
- Feeling safe.
- Feeling comforted.
- Increase in motivation.
- A positive increase in your self-esteem.
Common Questions During An ESA Letter
The counselor that prescribes the Emotional Support Animal Letter may ask the following questions below. Please know the questions below are not a complete list. They are shared to support you in your journey of counseling and receiving the ESA Letter.
- How long has your support animal been a part of your life?
- What are the challenges that you experiencing?
- What are the triggers connected to your symptoms?
- Have you ever worked with a counselor in the past?
- In what ways has your support animal provided you with support?
- What type of activities do you engage in with your support animal?
- Do you have a previous diagnosis?
I want to walk you through a case scenario focused on the ESA letter. This way you can gain insight into what a typical session looks like.
Scott reached out to a counseling office near him for an ESA Letter. He wanted a counselor to help him with the ESA letter so that his dog could live with him. During the counseling session, the therapist learned the relationship between Scott and his support animal named, Baxter. The counselor took time during the session to identify Scott’s mental health symptoms, the relationship between him and Baxter, Scott’s triggers, and ways that Baxter provides Scott with support. Scott during the sessions shared, “Baxter knows when I’m down. He comes to me and gives me a type of support that is hard to explain. Sometimes I talk to him and feel better. Other times, he motivates me to get out. I’ve always struggled with depression. I know that it’s important to get outside, to exercise, and to get Vitamin D. Baxter helps me do that.
In the case example above, you are able to highlight key points that go into Scott’s mental health background and his relationship with his support animal, Baxter. The example connects to living with your support animal. More on HUD can be found here:
Below are steps for getting an ESA Letter
When speaking to your therapist, take time to be open. Share your story and your connection with your support animal.
At the end of the counseling session, you will receive the ESA Letter. You may, in addition, receive feedback from your counselor connected to ongoing counseling or resources that can be supportive.