National Board 

of Forensic 

Evaluators

2021 Update: The Mental Health Professional's Role in Evaluating the Need for Emotional Support Animals

  • 08 Oct 2021
  • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Registration

  • Select this option if you wish to receive a certificate of attendance for continuing education and you are a member of NBFE (i.e., CFMHE or CFMHE Applicant or Candidate) or of a partnering organization (see nbfe.net/partners for full listing)
  • Select this option if you wish to receive a certificate of attendance for continuing education and you are not a member of NBFE or a partnering organization (see nbfe.net/partners for full listing)
  • Choose this option if you wish to attend the webinar, do NOT wish to receive a certificate of attendance, and are either a Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator (CFMHE), CFMHE applicant/candidate, or a member of an association that NBFE partners with (see www.nbfe.net/partners for full listing)
  • Choose this option if you are an NBFE board member, staff, or committee chair, or an employee of Darsey Black & Associates.

Registration is closed



In 2018, the National Board of Forensic Evaluators (NBFE) provided a comprehensive overview of legal, ethical, and clinical considerations for addressing client requests for emotional support animal (ESA) letters, including a checklist that mental health professionals could use to ensure due diligence and to protect themselves from liability when writing such letters.  

However, in 2021, significant changes in federal and state law have created the need for an update.  If you're still following old guidelines, you're going to really want to attend this event!

Attendees will be given access to a PDF handout version of PowerPoint slides for this program with hyperlinks to references, an updated checklist that can be used to facilitate assessment of the need for emotional support animals, and revised and updated sample letters and templates.

Get answers to important questions about ESA letters requests, such as:

  • How does federal law protect ESAs?
  • What does the law say must be provided to document the need for an ESA?
  • When it an ESA letter appropriate or inappropriate?
  • What sources of data does a mental health professional use when assessing the appropriateness of an ESA letter?
  • What should a letter include?
  • What liability does a healthcare professional accept when writing a letter, and how can a professional protect themselves from liability?
  • What happens when a healthcare practitioner is court-ordered to testify in court about an ESA letter?


Learning Objectives:

  1. Define emotional support animals (ESAs) and differentiate ESAs from service animals, therapy animals, and pets. 
  2. Describe the legal and ethical ramifications for recommending ESAs for clients with emphasis on recent changes in federal law.
  3. Differentiate between potentially harmful or problematic uses of ESA letters and therapeutic and clinically-relevant uses of ESA letters.
  4. List several recommended practices, tools, and resources for addressing requests for ESA eligibility letters. 


Cost:

  • $30 for members, including Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluators (CFMHEs), CFMHE applicants/candidates, and members of all associations partnering with NBFE (see Professional Partners link for full listing)
  • $45 for non-members
  • Free for members who do not want CEs for attending 


About the Presenter:



Dr. Aaron Norton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy serving as Executive Director of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Florida, Southern Regional Director for the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and Past-President of the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association. He has nearly 20 years of clinical and forensic experience at Integrity Counseling, Inc., was awarded Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the American Mental Health Counselors Association and Counselor Educator of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association in 2016, Researcher of the Year by Florida Mental Health Counselors Association in 2020, and has been published in several social science journals and professional magazines in clinical mental health counseling.  

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 3.0 hours of continuing education (2 general hours and 1 hour of  ethics/professional boundaries) with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, & Mental Health Counseling and the Florida Board of Psychology, CE Broker Tracking # 20-881094 (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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Valentino Norton 
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