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Asylum Evaluation Training: A How-To Guide For Therapists

Saturday, June 17, 2017, 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM
Alliant International University
One Beach Street, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA  94133
Annette Taylor, Administrator
CE Workshops
Registration is required
Payment In Advance Only
Registrants & Fees

Asylum Evaluation Training:

A How-To Guide for Therapists

(2 units pending approval for Psychologists, MFTs, LCSWs, and LPCCs)

Co-sponsored by SFPA, I-MERIT, and Alliant University


Saturday, June 17, 2017

11am - 1pm

Alliant International University

One Beach Street, Rooms 217-218

San Francisco, CA 94133




Ann Tran, PhD

Supervising Clinical Psychologist


Ginger Rhodes, PhD

Supervising Clinical Psychologist


Christine Lin, JD

Managing Attorney, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies – California


This multidisciplinary workshop will provide training for therapists from a psychological and legal framework to conduct psychological evaluations in order to provide critical documentation and clinical expertise to support asylum-seekers in the process of applying for asylum.


Approximately 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers immigrate to the United States a year (United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, 2011) with estimates of 5 to 35% of that population having experienced trauma (Baker, 1992). Survivors of persecution and torture without legal immigration status exhibit heightened levels of mental health problems (Keller et. al, 2006), which may be due to the risk of being deported, which may be a potentially traumatic experience, as well as having limited access to services reserved for individuals with legal status.


For asylum seekers, who are considered to be illegally residing in the country, the additional stressor of navigating the procedures to get granted asylum may lead to higher symptom severity of mental health problems. Subsequently, providing asylum evaluations and legal testimony for these survivors can significantly impact the well-being of asylum seekers. We will provide legal background about the asylum application process, components of psychological evaluations for the purpose of asylum application, unique multicultural and therapeutic aspects to interviewing this population, and guidance on providing expert testimony. We will highlight material through a case example.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Have an understanding of the asylum application process as it relates to providing a psychological evaluation
  2. Understand unique aspects to interviewing and assessing asylum seekers for the purpose of a psychological evaluation
  3. Understand basic tips to providing expert testimony based on evaluation



There are unique aspects to conducting a psychological evaluation with survivors of persecution and torture who are seeking asylum. In doing so, therapists providing asylum evaluations and expert testimony significantly strengthens asylum application claims and could consequently significantly improve mental health symptoms in survivors who are seeking asylum.

Workshop Outline (subject to change)




Overview of Legal Framework


How to Conduct Psychological Evaluations and Provide Expert Testimony



12:15-12:45 pm

Case Example

12:45-1:00 pm





SFPA Members CE $20

SCCPA Members CE $20

SMCPA Members CE $20

CCPA Members CE $20

Non Members CE $25


$5-$20 sliding scale to attend. No one turned away due to lack of funds. Proceeds will be used to defray costs and to support an organization who supports this disenfranchised population (UC Hastings Center for Refugee & Gender Studies).  Please contact Annette Taylor 408-757-7720.




Baker, R. (1992). Psychosocial consequences for tortured refugees seeking asylum and refugee status in Europe. In M. Basoglu (Ed.), Torture and its consequences: Current treatment approaches. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Keller, A., Lhewa, D., Rosenfeld, B., Sachs, E., Aladjem, A., Cohen, I., & Porterfield, K.

(2006). Traumatic experiences and psychological distress in an urban refugee population seeking treatment services. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 194(3), 188-194.

United States Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (2011). World refugee survey.

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