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Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Letters

emotional support animal

Do you need an ESA letter for your emotional support animal in Baltimore?

We can help.

Our licensed therapists can evaluate you for the need for an emotional support animal and write a letter that will be accepted by airlines and landlords, the two entities required by the Americans with Disabilites Act to accommodate service pets and support animals.

The process is easy and quick: contact us to set up an appointment for an ESA evaluation. We can often get you in within the week – sometimes even the same day. The fee for the evaluation and letter is $200. You will pay this fee at the time of booking, but rest assured that this payment is completely refundable up to 24 hours before the appointment.

The evaluation will take approximately an hour, after which the therapist will render a diagnosis. We will then prepare your ESA letter and send it to you by mail or e-mail, according to your preference, within 3 business days.

That’s all it takes!

Contact us to get your emotional support animal letter today!

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get an ESA letter

FAQ

What conditions qualify someone for an emotional support animal?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation in their regulations concerning Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, passengers must have a “mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, residents must have a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” There are no designations as to which specific mental illnesses qualify one for an ESA. Here are some common ones that may apply:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)Autism
  • Social Phobia
Am I guaranteed to get an ESA letter after the evaluation?

No. We are assessing you for a mental illness that would qualify you for the need for an ESA. If we cannot reasonably diagnose you with such a mental illness, we cannot provide a letter. That is why you must have a licensed mental health clinician evaluate you.

Do I need to register my emotional support animal?

No. There is no such registry and registering the animal is not necessary. However, there may be medical or other forms regarding your animal needed by the organization to which you will be presenting your ESA letter.

Will I need anything more than the ESA letter you provide?

Most likely, yes. Please contact the relevant airline or housing unit and ask about any forms you need to complete and the deadlines for doing so. We can fill out any forms related to your mental health, but some places may ask for documentation regarding the health and/or safety of your animal, which we cannot provide.

How much does it cost?

The cost for the evaluation and ESA letter is $200.

How long will it take?

The evaluation is 1 hour. You will receive the letter within 3 business days.

Can you send a letter directly to an airline/housing complex?

You would need to sign a release of information form for us to do so. With that release we can.

How long is my ESA letter good for?

According to the federal regulations of the Department of Transportation, the letter “no older than one year from the date of the passenger’s scheduled initial flight.”

Do you only write letters for dogs?

No. We will write a letter certifying your need for an emotional support animal; we do not prescribe which animal that has to be. Note, however, that the laws permit airlines and landlords to refuse to accommodate “unusual” service animals, such as snakes, spiders, and others. Please consult a lawyer if you think your support animal may fall into this category.

Can I get an ESA evaluation online?

It is technically possible to get this done online, however, please note that in order for an ESA letter to be valid, it must be signed by a licensed mental health professional. These licenses operate by state, so you will need to be assessed by someone here in Maryland, or who has a Maryland license. You must also undergo a valid mental health assessment; text-based questionnaires such as offered by other online options are rarely sufficient to provide a valid diagnosis. In order to provide a reliable assessment, the Baltimore Therapy Center requires you to speak face-to-face with a clinician, but this can be done in person or via videoconference.

What if I need more help/therapy?

We can help with that too! Learn more about our counseling services here.

Contact us to get your emotional support animal letter today!

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emotional support animal letter

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Our Testimonials

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Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Raffi smoothed our transition back to American life, all while volunteering his time and skills. He is extremely intelligent, insightful, trustworthy and pragmatic. I recommend Raffi without hesitation or reservation. He has a serious goal-focus balanced with a great sense of humor. Raffi is a tremendous, vital person to turn to.

Chanan Siris
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Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot be achieved. I’m sure we’ll return we need a “tune-up”!

TA
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Raffi made me enjoy going to therapy. I have learned to talk through issues that seemed impossible and I feel so much better about the communication in my relationship now.

Tyson V.
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My boyfriend and I see Raffi and it was the best decision we ever made. It is hard to gather the right words to describe him and how much he has helped us and our relationship.

Summer H.
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Caitlin is so special. She is an excellent listener and offers valuable and practical advice for improving life circumstances. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking to grow and improve their life situation. Thank you!

Devorah Mattes
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Raffi, was professional, insightful, and helped us.

Harry S.
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Raffi is a wonderful therapist. He’s understanding, warm, and thoughtful. He does not shy away from difficult or sensitive topics. I highly recommend his practice.

Kim Wise
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I am so thankful to have found Raffi. I feel so comfortable and confident when speaking with him. From small issues to major life decisions I have benefitted from his warmth and genuine care. I can assure you that Raffi will be an invaluable asset to your life.

Danielle Kippur
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Caitlin has been a mentor and guiding force for me over the past 10 years. She has spent countless hours listening and sharing her wisdom with me. Despite her very busy schedule, Caitlin has always made herself available to help when needed. Somehow, no matter what else she has going on in her day, when we are speaking I feel like I am her sole focus and priority. Caitlin is a very genuine, very caring person, and has a tremendous amount to offer her clients.

Naomi S.
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Raffi Bilek is a phenomenal resource. He actively listens before he speaks, and provides meaningful feedback and direction that clearly reflects my unique situation. His comments are wise, productive, and well thought-out. His humor also helps me feel comfortable and makes him relatable – sometimes it is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. I am indebted to him for his active listening and articulate, wise, and compassionate guidance. Thank you!

Jeremy R.
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I cannot speak highly enough of Raffi. In just a couple of sessions, Raffi has already began to successfully impact our marriage. Both my wife and I continue to be impressed with him and our progress each week.

Mark M.
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Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance, especially tonight. Both my wife and I were impressed and grateful for your willingness to work with us despite running a significant amount of time over. You are genuine in your demeanor and sincere with your advice. You are patient with us and seem to balance when to listen versus when to overrule us perfectly. Our confidence in you has grown to new heights and the value you offer is truly evident in our everyday lives.

John S.
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Highly professional but down to earth. Both my husband and I felt completely understood and valued; something couple’s often fear simply cannot be achieved. I’m sure we’ll return we need a “tune-up”!

TA
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Raffi is so easy to talk to. He makes you see things clearly. I’ve only known him a short time and almost immediately i was able to change things that were bothering me. He keeps conversations light and sometimes funny.  He’s a great guy and I recommend him to EVERYONE!

JMP
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I’ve worked with Raffi for six years, and from the beginning, he’s been VERY understanding of my unique situation and has been unbelievable helpful in guiding me to where I’ve gotten to, going above and beyond any expectations I had. I honestly can’t thank him enough in this small text box for what he’s done for me, but I’ll try – thank you, Raffi Bilek!

YO
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Just wanted to drop you a quick to once again thank you for all your help. I honestly felt Tim and I wouldn’t be able resolve our difficulties. But you offered us a safe space to work on becoming more honest, direct and ultimately heard and valued . . . in such a short time, you worked wonders! One or both of us may return in the future but please know we’re both indebted to you. We’re back to cherishing our time with one another and back to looking forward to a long life as husband and wife.
You have rightfully earned the title, “Number 1 Therapist in Baltimore“!

Lisa

P.S. – Do you recall we were trying to plan a vacation and Tim wondered if we could handle it without an argument? We leave for Greece next week and haven’t had one “ugly moment” since we last left your office. 🙂

Lisa & Tim
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Raffi was extremely helpful with the problems I brought to him. He helped me see things clearly and work through my problems. I felt like he really got what I was saying and where l was coming from. I even felt comfortable telling him things I had never told anyone before. He was completely nonjudgmental, which was very important for me. He helped me think about a number of different problems I brought up. but he also referred me to other specialists for problems he didn’t feel comfortable addressing. Overall, I was very grateful for all the help he provided me and I can’t believe how many problems he helped me solve – even ones that l have been dealing with for years!

Dan
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Raffi was very welcoming and easy to talk to. My boyfriend and I saw him for several months and found that he was able to relate to each of us and help us to work together and find solutions that we otherwise would not have thought about trying. He was generally able to meet at the times that were best for us and was available evenings which was great to accommodate our busy work schedules. I would definitly reccommend him to any of my friends or family and will likely see him in the future should I encounter any problems that I may need help resolving in my personal life.

Rachel
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Raffi is a great person to help you get through your challenges in life. He is attentive , listens, and genuinely cares about his patients. Since I have been going to see him I have become less stressed and am able to control my emotions a bit more than before. I continue to see him and hope to eventually be able to tackle these problems on my own one day. Until than I urge anyone having any issues to contact him and let him lend you a helping ear. Thanks Again Raffi.

COA
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I’ve known the people behind the Baltimore Therapy Center for over six years. I’ve found them to be kind, honest, and truly cared about what’s best for me. I’d come in just to visit if I lived nearby.

Yakov Okshtein
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Raffi led an informal group which I attended along with a few classmates from Israel in the summer of 2010. We had just returned to New Jersey from studying in a one- to two-year fellowship abroad. Raffi smoothed our transition back to American life, all while volunteering his time and skills. He is extremely intelligent, insightful, trustworthy and pragmatic. I recommend Raffi without hesitation or reservation. He has a serious goal-focus balanced with a great sense of humor. Raffi is a tremendous, vital person to turn to.

Chanan Siris
First slide

Working with Caitlin for several sessions over the years, I find she is able to validate the areas of my life (my marriage, time management, pregnancy anxiety, child rearing, interpersonal relationships, work/home balance) I wished to improve in my life, offering practical guidance and encouragement that I believed I could excel. I’ve had mostly one-on-one sessions and I have attended workshops on time management and another on strengthening my marriage. Caitlin is very professional–I found her organized, attentive and thorough. She made herself available when I had to reschedule sessions and she would follow up with me on her own time if she knew I was going through a challenging experience. She is one of the most top-quality people I have ever met. I enjoy her personality–she’s to the point yet incorporates much humor. I worked with her mainly when she lived in New Jersey but have reached out to her on occasion now that she is in Maryland because I consider her refreshingly insightful and positive. I would highly recommend working with her.

Amanda Rosner
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I met Caitlin about a year and a half ago. I moved into her community when I was newly married. I automatically felt comfortable with her. She has a warm disposition and so friendly. She really made an effort to get to know me. She periodically arranged “ladies night out” for moms and young wives to get to know each other and to have a break from their busy lives and just relax, socialize, and have fun. Caitlin was always eager to share information with me to help me in whatever I needed from yoga, to child rearing, to how to be a better wife and mom. Caitlin shared crucial information in a 2 part series workshop as to how to be a great mom and wife! I always admired her as being such a great multi-tasker juggling work, family life, social life, as well as making time for herself. Catlin is a devoted wife, mom, and friend. She is a growthful person always learning new ways to better herself.

Chavi Shpilsky
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Raffi is insightful, intuitive, experienced, and has a sense of humor. I have full faith that anyone who enters into therapy with him will gain a deeper understanding of themselves; his goal is to give you the tools that you need so that you can independently be responsible for changing your life to be better and more fulfilling. When I needed to include a therapist in my Masters thesis, without hesitation I called Raffi and asked him to help out. I would recommend Raffi to a friend or relative without qualm. Also, I have attended some of his workshops, and found them interesting, insightful, and entertaining. I heartily recommend these as well.

Channah C.
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I will always be grateful to Raffi for helping me through a very challenging time in my life. Within a few minutes of our first meeting, I was comfortable talking to him. He’s a superb listener. As we continued to meet over the next several months, I continued to grow from our interactions and generally just feel better and more confident. I would highly recommend Raffi to anyone.

Andrew K. Stein