Some clients who come to me want to gain legal status in the United States. This is most often done through an immigration attorney. I work closely with a number of attorneys in Sarasota/Bradenton/Tampa, as well as throughout Florida and the United States, by providing psychological evaluations to strengthen the clients’ applications.
A client being able to remain in the US is often extremely beneficial for both the client and his/her United States citizen family, as well as for society as a whole. In cases where clients are suffering from past traumas and/or disturbing emotions associated with the immigration process and counseling is recommended, Susan is able to provide such therapy, when appropriate.
Among the most common types of situations requiring psychological evaluations are the following:
Extreme or Exceptional Hardship
This type of evaluation details the difficulties an American citizen relative would suffer if his/her immediate family member (foreign national) were to be deported or refused entry/reentry to the United States. This evaluation consists of a thorough biopsychosocial assessment, including past and present traumas which would result in future suffering if the family member were not allowed to live in the US with his/her loved ones.
People applying for asylum have suffered physical, psychological and/or religious discrimination in a foreign country. These evaluations include a detailed account of the specific mistreatment and abuse they suffered in their home country for belonging to a certain racial, ethnic, religious or political group, and/or for sexual orientation. The evaluation includes any psychological and emotional distress, as a result of the persecution in the foreign country.
In this case, a foreign national engages in a relationship which turns out to be abusive. This abuse includes physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse. The evaluations assess the extent of the abuse and the effect it has had on the foreign national.
These are just a few of the many situations in which the attorney may ask for an evaluation for his/her client. In all types of evaluations, I conduct a wrap-around assessment, meaning that all areas of the client’s life are taken into consideration, and a comprehensive report is provided at the end. The turnaround time for reports is generally within one week, and I strive to provide a solid evaluation, one which is valuable to the client’s case.
If you or someone you know would benefit from this type of evaluation, please contact Susan. While it is preferable to conduct these session in Susan's office, they can also be done by video chat or by phone for those who live out of town. Susan also provides expert testimony as to past trauma and its effect on present and future hardship. She is also able to serve as an expert witness in immigration court cases involving trauma.