While Emotional Support Animals are NOT protected under the ADA, I receive a number of requests for approval.  I do not approve animals as I am not an animal expert, but identify that someone does or does not qualify and that they would benefit from the assistance of an emotional support animal. It is important to note that I am careful to make this decision and while most people find benefit of a pet, this is a different situation and requires a mental health diagnosis, for which a person would be also be actively engaged in therapeutic management. 

Though the ADA does not offer detailed guidelines,   I would like to stay within the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and require that a client has an ongoing psychiatric diagnosis (such as PTSD, Recurrent Major Depression, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder), and that their animal is specifically trained to provide a specific service related to that diagnosis which positively impacts their daily functioning.  Additionally,  I require that clients:

     1) are otherwise actively working to manage their symptoms, which would include ongoing services with a mental health professional.

     2) sign a statement   that they will only use an animal that has passed the highest level of training by a designated service animal trainer to perform specific duties related to the                 symptoms related to the mental health diagnosis. 

These requirements specifically differentiate this animal from a protection animal or pet, and  do  not guarantee approval.  These requirements are designed to protect the rights of others whose life may depend on these animals for their health and well-being.   Thank-you!

Other therapists, who work with me at my address, but not under the name of Great Plains Counseling:

Vicki Holoubeck, LIMHP:  402.880.9453                                                Christina Broekemeier, LIMHP: 402.350.1968                 

Ida-Marie Hebrank, LIMHP, LCSW, LADAC: 402.541.9698                 Vickie DeBuhr, LMHP: 402.660.6400                 

Molly Petersen, APRN, Kim Camp-Grimit, APRN:   (402) 281-9304  (med management/psychiatric nurse practitioners)        

It is important that you find the right fit for YOU, both in a therapists' area of expertise as well as in a therapy style that suits you best.  Do you benefit most when you have structure or flexibility, a "matter-of-fact" style or a softer approach, is someone that uses humor important or would that put you off, currently? In reaching your goals for therapy, is having "homework" to reflect on thoughts, feelings, and habits, or is it more important right now to just process your thoughts and feelings in the session. Is is more important to feel emotionally safe or emotionally challenged?  Most therapists do a combination of things that are flexible to their clients' specific needs and try to assess these in early sessions, so it is important that you collaborate with them about what would most serve you in that moment.  Generally speaking, it is a therapist's goal to help you to be the expert about you and to help you to recognize what you need and ask for what you want.  

If a collaborative approach is helpful in your situation,  a consent to release information must be signed by you in order for us to

communicate with another professional about you. 

While I cannot offer endorsement, as I do not personally know all of the therapists in the community, some other providers in Bellevue are:  Hope Valentine, Remedy Health, AM Counseling, Mental Health Clinicians of Bellevue, and Alegent Psychiatric of Bellevue. Their websites will provide you with their contact information.  

​Local Resources:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”― Theodore Roosevelt

"A seed planted in the ground...

...."does not feel its lack of roots, stem, and petals to be a weakness or less than. It just sees an opportunity to grow and then does..."   Michael Stevenson