Mental Health Evaluations in Immigration Court: Information and Guidelines for Practice

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Date(s) - 03/08/2018
8:00 am - 11:30 am

Crowne Plaza


Presented by Kalina Brabeck, Ph.D & Deborah Gonzalez, J.D., Sallie Pisaturo, LMHC, & Patricia Taubin, MA

Thursday, March 8, 2018
Registration 8:00-8:30am
Presentation 8:30-11:30am
3 CEUs for LMHCs, 3 CEs for Social Workers: 1.5 in Professional Ethics, 1.5 in Cross-Cultural Practice

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This workshop will provide information and guidance to mental health professionals on conducting psychological forensic evaluations for immigration court. Attorney and Law Professor Deborah Gonzalez will first provide an overview of immigration status, forms of immigration relief (e.g., asylum), and the ways in which a psychological evaluation can assist in a legal case. Next, psychologist and Associate Professor of Mental Health Counseling Kalina Brabeck will provide an overview of the mental health professional’s role in forensic immigration work, common questions addressed in a report (e.g., credibility, the effect of trauma on memory), cross-cultural issues in evaluation, recommended methodology for assessment and report writing, and ethical considerations (e.g., maintaining objectivity). Finally, Mental Health Counselor Sallie Pisaturo, LMHC and her intern Patricia Taubin, MA will present a suggested battery of assessment instruments for forensic evaluations, and offer tips for expert testimony.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the differences between types of immigrant legal status (e.g., refugee, legal permanent resident, undocumented)
  2. Become familiar with types of immigration relief (e.g., asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U Visa)
  3. Understand the role of a mental health professional in a forensic immigrant case
  4. Articulate potential psychological explanations for common legal question in immigration court (e.g., how trauma affects memory)
  5. Articulate cross-cultural considerations in evaluations and consider their impact on the validity and reliability of assessment results
  6. Become familiar with a basic methodology for assessment and report-writing for immigration court
  7. Articulate and trouble shoot ethical dilemmas that arise in conducting forensic mental health evaluation for immigration court
  8. Learn tips for providing expert witness testimony

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*No refunds after February 28th