First, some definitions: An Emotional Support animal is a type of assistance animal that alleviates a symptom or effect of a disability. An Emotional Support Animal is more than a pet, and is generally not restricted by species.
After participating in a full Psychological Evaluation with me, I might write you an ESA letter, as part of my detailed treatment recommendations for you. This letter should be honored by landlords who otherwise have a “no pet” policy; in other words, having an ESA letter means that your animal may live with you to help provide you with emotional support. Please note that participating in a psychological evaluation with me does not guarantee you an ESA letter, even if that is your hope. This is because I can only legally, and ethically, provide such a letter if the evaluation results support this recommendation.
The ESA letters I write are for housing only. While, in general, ESA letters might also allow you to travel with your animal, this is only true if you have ensured that your animal is well-behaved, in good health, and up to date with vaccinations. Traveling with an ESA requires additional documentation that I typically will not complete (see American Airlines for an example), may only apply to dogs or cats, and requires that you are currently participating in ongoing mental health services. The guidelines differ for each airline, and there may be additional requirements for longer flights. Therefore, I cannot guarantee that my letters will afford you the ability to take your animal with you on a flight.
An Emotional Support Animal is NOT a service animal. This means that my evaluations do not evaluate your animal, and my letters do not comment on how well trained your animal is. My letter will not help you if you want to take your animal into public spaces; and, again, the primary purpose of my ESA letters are for housing only. (Service animals, on the other hand, go through a specific training process and are allowed to accompany their person into public establishments.)
There are a lot of websites that charge a lot of money for ESA letters, and some of these are scams. It is best to see a professional Licensed Clinical Psychologist like Dr. Emily, who will meet with you face-to-face, do a thorough assessment, and, when appropriate, provide you with a valid letter. In addition, my evaluations provide you with many helpful recommendations and resources, and the report you receive is far more comprehensive and useful than what an online service will provide. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about ESA letters.