What is the interview process like?

The in-person evaluation typically lasts two to three hours and involves an in-depth clinical interview and psychological testing.  We meet at my office in Cincinnati to conduct this interview.  This is a one-time meeting (follow-up sessions are not typically needed.)

Can you work through an interpreter?

Yes, I work with interpreters regularly.  Please note: clients are responsible for finding and bringing an interpreter to the appointment.

Do I need to bring anything with me to the appointment?

In most cases, no.  However, there may be instances in which obtaining a copy of your medical or legal records would be helpful.  We can discuss this at the time of the evaluation.  Clients scheduling an evaluation for a disability waiver for the citizenship exam must complete this form and bring it with them at the time of the appointment.

How much do you charge for evaluations?

I charge $850 for evaluations.  This includes a clinical interview, records review, and a comprehensive report that I send to your attorney (or to you directly if not represented by an attorney.)  I charge an additional hourly fee if asked to testify in immigration court.

Do I have to pay the full amount at the time of the appointment?

I require a minimum payment of $400 at the time of the appointment.  You can pay the remainder at a later date but I will not send the report to the attorney (or to you) until you have paid in full.

What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept cash, check, or direct deposit.

What is the report like?

After the interview, I write a comprehensive (typically five to ten pages) report outlining your personal (family, educational, medical, etc.) history and any mental health diagnoses.  All reports include a summary paragraph where I answer the legal question specific to the case.  I may also request and include medical or legal records that are relevant to your case.

How quickly will you have the report ready after our appointment?

I typically send reports to attorneys (or directly to clients, where applicable) within three to five business days after meeting with the client.

Do you see clients in immigration (ICE) detention?

Yes, I am available to meet with clients in immigration detention in Ohio.  In these cases, in addition to the evaluation fee of $850, I charge for mileage and travel time.

Do you see children?

Yes, I provide immigration evaluations for children and adolescents and have specialized training in the evaluation of unaccompanied minors.

Do you see clients for therapy?

I do not provide therapy.  However, in cases where a client I see for an evaluation and they express an interest in therapy, I can make referrals to mental health professionals in the Cincinnati area.

How will a psychological evaluation help?

The answer to this question differs depending on the type of case (i.e. hardship vs. U visa vs. asylum.) However, the general purpose of a psychological evaluation for immigration court is to document any mental health conditions or diagnoses and to describe, from a psychosocial perspective, how potential deportation would impact a client and their family.  A psychological evaluation can also help address discrepancies in a client’s report of personal history or clinical presentation, for example, by citing research regarding memory and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Research studies have demonstrated the utility of psychological evaluations in immigration cases.  For example, in a study of asylum seekers, 89% of those who received a medical evaluation from Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) were granted asylum, versus the national average of 37.5% of US asylum seekers who did not receive PHR evaluations (Asylum Grant Rates Following Medical Evaluations of Maltreatment among Political Asylum Applicants in the United States.)

To understand more, please see How a Psychological Evaluation May Help an Immigration Case and other resources on the resources page.

I’m already seeing a therapist.  Can’t they just write a letter?

Yes and no… Yes, they can certainly write a letter describing any mental health conditions and where applicable, I will include these in my report.  However, treating providers are not generally trained to write reports for legal audiences, particularly for immigration court, and therefore often do not know how to adequately address the legal question at hand.  In addition, treating providers typically are not familiar with and able to cite literature on the psychological impact of deportation and family separation.

Are you experienced in writing for a legal audience?

Yes.  My practice is almost exclusively devoted to providing psychological evaluations for immigration court and I have worked with immigration attorneys from around the US on a range of cases. In addition, I used to work as a Staff Psychologist at the Veterans Hospital, where I performed thousands of psychological evaluations for legal audiences.

What training have you received to do these evaluations?

I have received training in the documentation of torture and trauma through Physicians for Human Rights and training in forensic evaluations for undocumented immigrants through the American Psychological Association.  I have also completed training through the American Psychological Association’s Division of International Psychology and Physicians for Human Rights’ Forensic Training Institute in more specialized areas, including the evaluation of children seeking humanitarian protection.