National Board 

of Forensic 


The Mental Health Professional's Role in Evaluating the Need for Emotional Support Animals: A Clinical-Forensic Perspective

  • 24 Jun 2018
  • 8:30 AM
  • 01 Jan 2022
  • 5:30 PM


  • Select this option if you are a member of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators (i.e., CFMHE, applicant, or candidate) or you are a member of an organization that partners with NBFE (see for full list)
  • Choose this option if you are NOT a CFMHE, CFMHE applicant, or a member of an organization that partners with NBFE (i.e., AMHCA, DBA, FMHCA, LPCA, SMHCA, UMHCA, Vecchi Group International, WMHCA)
  • Choose this option if you are an NBFE board member, staff, or committee chair, or an employee of Darsey Black & Associates.

Registration is closed

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are increasingly popular, and mental health professionals are receiving requests from clients (and non-clients) for documentation that can be used to obtain ESA designation for pets, yet few professionals have been trained to assess the need for ESAs. Assessment of the need for ESAs requires knowledge of disability, the role of ESAs in symptom reduction and quality of life, the difference between ESAs and service animals, ethical considerations for recommendation of ESAs, contraindications for ESAs, and the law and ESAs. This program will aid clinicians in obtaining this knowledge and feeling prepared to address client requests for letters documenting the need for ESAs. 

Attendees will be given access to a PDF handout version of PowerPoint slides for this program with hyperlinks to references, a checklist that can be used to facilitate assessment of the need for emotional support animals, and a sample letter documenting the need for accommodation of a passenger with an emotional support animal for air travel.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define emotional support animals (ESAs) and differentiate ESAs from service animals. 
  2. Describe the legal and ethical ramifications for recommending ESAs for clients.
  3. List several recommended practices for addressing requests for ESA eligibility letters. 

$20 for the following attendees: 

  1. Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluators (CFMHEs) and those who have applied to become CFMHEs
  2. Members of any organization that partners with NBFE, including American Mental Health Counselors Association, Darsey, Black, & Associates, Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, Licensed Professional Counselors Association of Georgia, Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association, Utah Mental Health Counselors Association, Vecchi Group International, and Washington Mental Health Counselors Association.

$30 for all other attendees.

About the Presenter:

Aaron Norton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator, Certified Forensic Behavioral Analyst, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and Certified Master’s Level Addictions Professional.  Awarded American Mental Health Counselors Association's Mental Health Counselor of the Year and Florida Mental Health Counselors Association's Counselor Educator of the Year in 2016,  he is an experienced private practitioner conducting clinical and forensic mental health evaluations and providing psychotherapy.  He serves as Executive Director of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, Adjunct Professor at the University of South Florida’s College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, and President-Elect and Chair of Education, Training Standards, and Continuing Education at the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, and Southern Regional Director of the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Continuing Education:

The National Board of Forensic Evaluators (NBFE) has been approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6189.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  NBFE is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. 

This workshop has been approved for 2 hours of continuing education (1 general hour and 1 hour of  ethics/professional boundaries) with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, & Mental Health Counseling, CE Broker Tracking # 20-605309 (CE Broker Provider #50-15823).  

NBFE is recognized and endorsed by the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Click here for NBFE Cancellation/Refund Policy.

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