So, Your Client Has an Emotional Support Animal…Law & Ethics of Writing ESA Letters-WMHCA

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Description: Clinicians are frequently asked by clients to write service animal support letters. Are we required to write these letters? Are we allowed to write these letters? Do we face exposure to liability if we write these letters? This 1 hour workshop will answer these questions. We will highlight the key legal distinctions between service animals, support animals, therapy animals, and pets. We will then discuss the legal and ethical implications of providing clients with evaluation and accommodation letters. After this workshop participants will be able to implement strategies to minimize professional liability while maximizing clinical effectiveness and support to clients with animal support. This course is intended to meet law and ethics continuing education requirements.

Outline: Sources of Standards (0.25 hours) Service Animals/Comfort/Support Animals (0.25 hours) Evaluation and accommodation letters (0.5 hours)

Objectives: This workshop is designed to equip you to:

  1. Describe Federal and Washington State legal standards regarding writing animal support letters for clients
  2. Identify areas of liability relating to writing animal support letters for clients
Presenter: Eric Strom

Eric Strom is an attorney and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. As an attorney, Eric provides legal counsel, consultation and guidance to mental health professionals. The focus of Eric’s clinical practice is providing mental health counseling services to combat veterans. Eric is currently serving as the ethics advisor for the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association.