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Legal, Clinical, and Ethical Aspects of Immigrant Mental Health (with Social Hour immediately after workshop)

  • 12 Dec 2014
  • 8:30 AM - 4:15 PM
  • 1015 15th Street, NW, 4th floor, Washington, DC 20005


Registration is closed

Legal, Clinical, and Ethical Aspects of Immigration Mental Health

Speakers:  Jean Gearon, Ph.D., Giselle Hass, Psy.D., Suzan Stafford, Ed.D., Sheena Wadhawan, Esq., and Oksana Zadoro, LICSW

December 12, 2014

8:30 AM- 4:15 PM

6 Hrs CE Offered

3 ethics credits & 3 cultural/diversity credits

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, North Campus

1015 15th Street, NW, 4th Floor, Near Farragut North Metro Station & McPhearson Square Metro Station

Parking available in the building until 10 PM

Please join us for Social Hour immediately after.

Accreditation provided through the South Carolina Psychology Association. (DCPA and SCPA co -sponsor these programs). South Carolina Psychological Association maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

This program is also approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval #886650943-5871) for 3 Ethics continuing education contact hours.”

To print a paper registration form to mail in, please click here!

Members $90

Non-Members $110

Student Members $20

Student Non-Members $30

Presentation Overview:

The social action group of the DCPA ethics committee is committed to educating members and friends in immigration issues, and to training them in ethically sound mental health practices and services through which we can jointly promote local immigrant well-being with the legal community.  

Today's multi-disciplinary workshop, which is the first in a series of workshops to be offered by DCPA, outlines how mental health professionals can assist attorneys in their representation of immigrants applying for residency in the US. A specific focus will be on immigrants who report experiencing traumatic events in their homeland.  

The workshop is organized into three content areas.  First, the major legal issues and road blocks immigrants face when applying for residency will be reviewed by lawyers from Casa de Maryland.  A short film of an immigrant’s story will be shown to deepen our understanding of the immigrant experience and issues.  Next, areas for clinical assessment that help support attorneys in their representation of immigrants will be identified and discussed.  This section of the workshop will end with a demonstration of the administration of the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-V.  Finally, the ethical issues involved in assessments with this population will be outlined.  The workshop will end with Breakout groups combining Legal, Ethical and Clinical discussions (three presenters will lead groups, one from each area).

Presentation Outline:

8:30 am Registration and Refreshments

9:00 am Introduction to issues of immigrants and legal status

Short film of immigrant to assist attendees in understanding of the issues they face.

9:40 am Overview of how the workshop will proceed

9:50 am Presentation of Legal Issues for evaluations

10:20 am Break

10:30 am Clinical Issues of doing these evaluations

12:00 pm Lunch on Your Own

1:00 pm Ethical Issues of working with this population

3:00 pm Break

3:10 pm Breakout groups combining Legal, Ethical and Clinical discussions

4:10 pm Reassembly into one group for last minute question/answer period

4:15 pm Adjournment

Presentation Behavioral Objectives:

Legal Segment
(1)  Participants will receive a general overview of the areas in which law and psychology most often intersect in the lives of immigrants.  


(2) Participants will then learn about specific forms of immigration relief available to immigrants that require an evaluation by a licensed mental health practitioner including U Visas for victims of certain serious crimes, T Visas for survivors of human trafficking, and Violence Against Women Act petitions for survivors of domestic violence.  


(3)  Participants will gain an understanding of the legal standard for psychological harm that the immigrant must establish as well as tools to best assess and evaluate immigrants seeking evaluations in support of these immigration applications. 


Clinical Segment

(4) Participants will understand and  be able to describe the diagnostic criteria for several trauma-related diagnoses.


(5)  Participants will be able to describe the interview structure of the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 and the Life Events Check List (both gold standard PTSD assessment instruments) and how they are scored.


(6)  Participants will understand and be able to identify other stress related psychopathology such as somatic issues and alcoholism.


(7) Participants will be able to Identify unique challenges to the assessment of PTSD in an immigrant population including language barriers between the clinician and the immigrant, and immigrant belief systems that might include indigenous healing notions and practices.


Ethics Segment
(8)  Participants will explore and identify clinical/ethical opportunities and challenges in working with asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrant populations.


(9)  Participants will be able to identify potential risk management issues in working with asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrant populations.


(10)  Participants will be able to identify skewing factors in forensic psychology such as malingering and deception. 


(11)     Participants will understand the risk of vicarious traumatization for practitioners who work with this population and will identify self-care strategies.

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The D.C. Psychological Association (DCPA) works to advance psychology as a source for the promotion of public welfare and human dignity.

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