How To Get An ESA Letter
Emotional Support Animal letters are provided to persons that find their pet emotionally supportive.
To qualify for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) letter persons must have a letter written by a professional counselor. Santos Counseling is a private practice in Greensboro, NC that takes a special focus in serving those that need ESA letters.
The work of the counselor extends beyond that of simply writing a letter. Inside the letter is an evaluation that helps to identify why and how the person is connected to the pet. One of the core requirements for ESA letters is a diagnosis. A diagnosis is given to persons that display emotional and life challenges beyond that of a person without a diagnosis.
It is important for persons seeking an ESA letter to understand that not all counselors will write the letter. In addition, not all persons qualify for the ESA letter. This is in part because of professionalism and competence. Like any service in counseling, writing ESA letters should be completed by a counselor that understands the core components of the ESA letter.
An emotional support animal can help people with emotional and mental health challenges. Common mental health diagnosis or challenge that may qualify a person for an ESA include:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Learning Disorders
- Bipolar Disorder
- Major Depression Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Please remember, that the mental health diagnosis or challenge does not mean that a person will receive the ESA letter. To receive the ESA letter, it is important to engage with a licensed mental health professional who can guide you through the process.
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To help paint a picture of a typical case, I want to share a case study of Carlos.
Carlos is a 27-year-old male that is searching for an apartment. Currently, Carlos lives with his parents and his dog Max. Carlos shared that his dog Max helps him with his anxiety. During sessions Carlos would give vivid examples of how his dog provided him comfort and a reduction in the severity of the symptoms experienced. Carlos has been working with a counselor for the past few years in the areas of depression and anxiety. Carlos shared that he is diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This type of anxiety pushes Carlos to feel on edge, experience problems sleeping, and worry more days than not. Carlos expressed to his counselor that the apartment complex he is seeking to live in, will not let him have his pet without an ESA letter.
In the example above, you are able to identify the following key points.
- Carlos diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
- Carlos is seeking an ESA letter.
- Carlos has a strong relationship with his dog Max.
The counselor can work with Carlos to write the ESA letter so that Carlos can turn it in to his apartment complex. Doing so would directly support Carlos in his journey of life, as his pet Max seems to be a strong support in his life.