Image of CDP Presents: Emotional Support Animals: Ethical, Legal, and Clinical

CDP Presents: Emotional Support Animals: Ethical, Legal, and Clinical Issues for Mental Health Professionals

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Cassie L Bones
Course Levels:
90 Minutes
Media Type:
Access for event date only.




There is a growing trend of individuals requesting emotional support animal (ESA) “letters” from licensed mental health professionals. This presentation outlines and describes the ethical (e.g., competence) and legal (e.g., fraudulent certification) issues related to ESA evaluation and certification. Special attention is paid to relevant recommendations for mental health providers that may encounter ESA requests from their clients.



By the end of this webinar, participants should be able to:

  1. Distinguish between service animals and emotional support animals, 
  2. describe the relevant ethical and legal issues related to the certification of ESAs by mental health professionals , and 
  3. identify the necessary components of a comprehensive ESA 


Target audience: This introductory level webinar is appropriate for mental health professionals, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other professionals working with military Service members, Veterans, or their families.


This activity is approved for 1.5 continuing education credits (CEs)


The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



Cassie L Bones Related seminars and products: 1

Cassie Boness is a Doctoral Candidate in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Missouri. Her main research interests encompass issues related to the etiology, assessment, and diagnosis of alcohol use disorder with a secondary focus on ethical issues in psychology research and practice. Her seminal publication “Examining Emotional Support Animals and Role Conflicts in Professional Psychology,” co-authored with Dr. Jeffrey Younggren and published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, has made her one of the leading experts on the topic of emotional support animals. Her and her colleagues’ most recent publication outlines the first comprehensive ESA assessment model for mental health professionals.



ADA Needs

We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call the Center for Deployment Psychology at 301-400-4160 or email

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