Good evening and thank you for the opportunity to help in answering your question. First please allow me to say that I am sincerely XXXXX XXXXX hear of the difficulty and significant anxiety that you have experienced.
I'm actually quite familiar with the process you're inquiring about as the majority of my patients have sever anxiety, panic as well as Post Traumatic Stress and find solace in their pets.Essentially what needs to take place is two things. The first would be for you to be evaluated and clearly diagnosed with an anxiety/panic disorder by a psychiatrist....mind you I have written several letters for my own patients but some places can be somewhat picky and want a a letter from an MD (Psychiatrist).
Following the initial evaluation by suggestion would be to meet with him or her for a few sessions to build up a rapport and relationship and communicate to them the calming effect that your dog has on you and that you have found her to be better than most medications and would like her to be certified as a therapy dog.
For most places....the letter from your doctor will suffice...however some other places may require that your dog go through what is considered to be a school for animals to make them into therapy dogs.
There are school all across the country that you can go through in order to achieve this certification if it were to become necessary...though most places will accept the Psychiatrists letter identifying the need for your dog to be with for if she isn't then your panic disorder will undoubtedly worsen and likely lead to agoraphobia.(fear of leaving your home)
I would start off with the evaluation I mentioned above and go from there....the doctor may also suggest that you consider medications and therapy....specifically cognitive behavioral therapy... to help manage the anxiety and I would suggest that you give it consideration and not rule it out as it may very well help you
Here is a list of schools that train animals to be therapy dogs.
I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX I have been helpful in answering your question and that you have found my suggestions to be of benefit to you.
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