Why you'll love this course

It's OK to love animals and still wonder whether you should write that ESA letter for a client requesting one. This course gets specific: It differentiates ESAs from service animals, details the legal context for ESAs, and addresses the concerns many therapists have about writing a letter, all without pushing a specific agenda either supporting or opposing ESAs.

Course Description

Use of Emotional Support Animals has been rapidly increasing, prompting public skepticism and strict new airline rules. Still, clients frequently request ESA letters from their therapists. Ben Caldwell gives the legal background on ESAs, and discusses the ethical and practical considerations for therapists considering whether and when to write such letters. This course is primarily Law and Ethics content.

1 hour CE. Video format.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate between pets, Emotional Support Animals, and Service Animals

  • Identify at least three ethical considerations for therapists debating whether to issue ESA letters

  • Describe their ESA policy, including the requirements that must be met before they will issue an ESA letter

Course Outline

  1. Background: Defining Emotional Support Animals
  2. Research
  3. Role of the Therapist
  4. Controversy
  5. Relevant Ethical Issues
  6. Disciplinary Actions
  7. Handling ESA Requests

View references for this course

Instructor

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD

Education Director, SimplePractice Learning

Benjamin Caldwell, PsyD is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#42723). He currently serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge in Los Angeles. He has taught at the graduate level for more than 15 years, primarily in Law and Ethics, and has written and trained extensively on ethical applications in mental health care. In addition to serving a three-year term on the AAMFT Ethics Committee, Dr. Caldwell served as the Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for AAMFT-California for 10 years. He served as Editor for the Users Guide to the 2015 AAMFT Code of Ethics and is the author of several books, including Saving Psychotherapy and Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs.

Basics of California Law is a graduate textbook used around California that uses Emotional Support Animals as an example when considering the scope of practice and scope of competence questions.

User Reviews

Very Informative

Neil Klatsky

As a 30 + year veteran therapist, I had a very limited understanding of an ESA. I would have been blindsided by a client if they had asked me for an ESA letter. This course nailed it on informing me and keeping me professionally updated on this m...

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As a 30 + year veteran therapist, I had a very limited understanding of an ESA. I would have been blindsided by a client if they had asked me for an ESA letter. This course nailed it on informing me and keeping me professionally updated on this matter.

Read Less

Great Information!

Tony Davis

I had recently been asked by a client to write and ESA letter, and denied the request, but then realized that I needed to know more about the ethics involved. This workshop supplied the information I need to make qualified decisions about this in ...

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I had recently been asked by a client to write and ESA letter, and denied the request, but then realized that I needed to know more about the ethics involved. This workshop supplied the information I need to make qualified decisions about this in the future.

Read Less

Additional Information

Format & Length:

Video format; Total running time 72 minutes

Topic Area:

Law and Ethics

NAADAC Counselor Skill Group 8: Legal, Ethical, and Professional Development

Instructional Level:

Intermediate

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your CE certificate, you must progress through all course segments, complete a satisfaction survey, and obtain a score of 80% or higher on a course completion quiz.

Who Should Attend:

Psychologists, counselors, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and substance abuse counselors.

Enrollment Period:

90 days

Financial Support Statement:

SimplePractice Learning pays course presenters for their teaching. There is no other financial support for this course.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

There is no potential conflict of interest or outside commercial support for this course.

Refund Policy:

Click here to see our policies on attendance, refunds, grievances, and accessibility, and other frequently asked questions.

Continuing Education Approvals:

SimplePractice is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course provides 1 hour of continuing education (1 CE credit) for psychologists.

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6961. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. SimplePractice is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

SimplePractice is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #145276). SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses meet the qualifications for the listed hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

SimplePractice is approved as a Rule/Statute Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. Note that we do not automatically report CE completion to CE Broker at this time, so certificates of completion must be manually uploaded. Click here for more information.

SimplePractice LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0582.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Marriage and Family Therapists in the state of Texas. MFT CE Provider Number 1271.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Professional Counselors in the state of Texas. LPC CE Provider Number 3446.

SimplePractice is approved to provide continuing education activities for Social Workers in the state of Texas. Social Work CE Provider Number 7678.


This course has been approved by SimplePractice, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 1 Hour CE. NAADAC Provider #186410. SimplePractice is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Click here to view our complete CE approval information.