In recent years, emotional support animals have become increasingly popular. Studies show that animals can offer therapeutic benefits for individuals through daily companionship. With mounting evidence to support the benefit of these companion pets, many individuals want to have their pets classified as emotional support animals. If you’re interested in learning more about the many benefits of this option and whether or not it could benefit you, get started with an emotional support animal screening in Palmetto, FL at Manatee Associates of Counseling & Assessment.
How do Emotional Support Animals Help?
Many people think that emotional support animals are part of some new trend in alternative medicine, but actually, animals have been used in treatments for decades. In the 1940s and 50s, the American Red Cross started using animals to rehabilitate service members with physical and emotional injuries following the second world war. The first formal studies of the efficacy of animals in treatment were conducted in the 1960s, and the results indicated that individuals whose treatment was augmented by the presence of animals showed improved mood, increased comfort, and more positive interactions with others, especially if their injury or illness is accompanied by emotional or cognitive health concerns. Since this study, numerous others have shown similar positive outcomes, and today, the use of animal-assisted therapy and emotional support animals has become increasingly prevalent.
What are Emotional Support Animals & How do I Find One?
Emotional support animals should not be confused with service animals. These service animals are not pets, and they require special training to assist individuals with a variety of concerns. Seeing eye dogs are an example of service animals. Emotional support animals offer significant relief for the symptoms of a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, mood disorders, and personality disorders. However, these animals don’t need to have any specialized training to offer the benefit to people who rely on them. Instead, emotional support animals are pets that offer companionship, affection, and structure in an individual’s daily life. You can choose any kind of pet to serve as your emotional support animal, but to qualify your pet as an emotional support animal, you will need to be screened by a therapist who will provide a report describing your need for this animal to relieve suffering and improve overall quality of life.
The screening process for emotional support animals is simple and stress free. You’ll visit our office and talk with one of our clinicians about the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and the reasons you think an emotional support animal can help you. If we believe you qualify for this support service, we can provide a written statement outlining the specifics of your situation.
Who Offers Emotional Support Animal Screenings?
You can learn more about each of our therapists who offer emotional support animal screenings by clicking on their individual links below.
Let’s Get Started!
We know it can be intimidating to take this next step to schedule an appointment with our team. You may have had negative experiences with therapy in the past, you may be worried about stigma surrounding counseling, or you may just be worried. We get it. The good news is we can help you put some of those worries aside and start feeling like yourself again. When you’re ready, the Manatee Associates of Counseling & Assessment team is here for you.