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  • SBCPA SALON: Pro Bono Psychosocial Accompaniment of Asylum Seekers with Mary Watkins, Ph.D.

SBCPA SALON: Pro Bono Psychosocial Accompaniment of Asylum Seekers with Mary Watkins, Ph.D.

  • 26 Jun 2020
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Zoom (link will be emailed to registrants)


Registration is closed


Pro Bono Psychosocial Accompaniment of Asylum Seekers

with Mary Watkins, Ph.D.


Course Outline:

5:30-6:50pm- Presentation of topic (following the below description and objectives)

6:50-7pm – Q&A/evaluations

This one-and-a-half hour seminar will focus on a variety of ways for psychologists to support those in immigration detention, those seeking asylum, immigration relief from VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), and under the Prevention of Torture Convention. Topics will include:

  1. The current situation for those seeking asylum in the U.S., including the proliferation of detention centers throughout the U.S. (10 minutes)

  2. The kinds of traumas many asylum seekers have experienced in their home countries and in their journey to the U.S. border (10 minutes)

  3. Ways to become informed about asylum seekers and the asylum process (10 minutes)

  4. Psychosocial accompaniment of migrants and asylum seekers (10 minutes)

  5. Conducting psychological evaluations that are useful in immigration court and are potentially psychological useful to the asylee (40 minutes)

 (The course content is designed to meet Standard 2 of the APA Standards and Criteria for Approval of Sponsors of Continuing Education for Psychologists.)

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of the course participants will be able to:

1.    Summarize a variety of ways by which psychologists can provide psychosocial accompaniment to asylum seekers

2.    Utilize the available trainings necessary to learn how to conduct pro bono psychological evaluations for immigration court

3.   Analyze the kinds of complex trauma many asylum seekers suffer and address how the process of psychological evaluations can provide some therapeutic impact 


Eisold, B. (2019). Psychodynamic perspectives on asylum-seekers and the asylum-seeking process: Encountering well-founded fear. NY: Routledge.

Evans, F. B., Hass, G. A. (2018). Forensic psychological assessment in immigration court: A guidebook for evidence-based and ethical practice.  NY: Routledge.

Gangsei, D., Deutsch, A. C. (2007). Psychological Evaluation of Asylum Seekers as a Therapeutic Process. Torture, 17, 2, 79-87.

Kanstroom, D. (2007). Deportation nation: Outsiders in American history. MA: Harvard University Press.

Kanstroom, D.,& Lykes, M. B. (Eds.) (2015). The new deportations delirium: Interdisciplinary responses. NY: New York University Press.

Watkins, M. (2019). Mutual accompaniment and the creation of the commons. CT: Yale University Press.

Watkins, M., & Casey, E. (2015). Up against the wall: Re-imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border. TX: University of Texas Press.

CPA is co-sponsoring with Santa Barbara County Psychological Association (SBCPA). The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Important Notice:Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive (1.5) continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we give credit only to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.

This salon will be held via zoom.

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