Mental Health Evaluators

The Validity of Screening for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The Validity of Screening for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Mental Health Problems among Asylum Seekers from Different Countries

Jokobsen, M. and Thoresen, S. (2011), Journal of Refugee Studies. 24(1): 171-186

The article evaluates the utility of screening tools such as the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25) in asylum seekers.
Note: Requires paid subscription to Oxford Journals

Psychological evaluation of asylum seekers as a therapeutic process

Gangsei, D. and Deutsch, A. (2007); Torture: Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture. Copenhagen: IRCT; 17:2, 79-87

This paper discusses mental health evaluation for survivors applying for asylum in a country of refuge and how this task, which has both legal and therapeutic dimensions, provides a unique opportunity to contribute to healing the wounds of torture.

Note: The link below is to the article, but the articles in TORTURE are frequently moved online. If the link below does not work, go to the main TORTURE journal page at this link:

Irreconcilable Conflict Between Therapeutic and Forensic Roles

Greenberg, S., Shuman, D, (1997), Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, February 1997 Vol. 28, No. 1, 50-57, American Psychological Association

The authors present the principles that underlie why combining clinical and forensic roles is conflicting and problematical, and stress the importance of avoiding such conflicts, avoiding the threat to the efficacy of therapy, avoiding the threat to the accuracy of judicial determinations, and avoiding deception when providing testimony.

Central American Victims of Gang Violence as Asylum Seekers: The Role of the Forensic Expert

Jesus-Rentas, G, Boehnlein, J, Sparr, L (2010) Journal of the American Academy Psychiatry Law 38:490–8, 2010

In recent years, mental health practitioners have become involved in the evaluation of asylum seekers who claim to be victims of torture and persecution because of their political points of view, or because of oppression in their country of origin.

The Role of Mental Health Professionals in Political Asylum Processing

Meffert, Susan, Musalo, Karen, McNiel, Dale and Binder, Renée (2010), Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry, 38:479-489

The authors describe the legal context of asylum applications, identify concerns of particular legal importance that can be addressed by mental health evaluations of asylees, and discuss the role of mental health professionals in consultations with immigration attorneys, including training in safe and efficient interviewing of traumatized clients and development of skills to protect against the risk of burnout and secondary trauma among immigration attorneys.

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