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Trauma and Hope: Working with Immigrant Patients, Presented by Rolando Diaz, Ph.D.


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April 18, 2021 9am-12:15pm

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Trauma and Hope: Working with Immigrant Patients, Presented by Rolando Diaz, Ph.D.

A CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM sponsored By Association of Practicing Psychologists, Montgomery-Prince George’s Counties, Inc.

Workshop Level: All levels

This workshop is for licensed psychologists who want to better describe, discuss and assess the role that trauma informs the work with immigrants and how trauma informs assessment process particular to individuals in the U.S. immigration system.

Program Description: Immigration has been a front-burner issue in the United States for many years, more so during the last four years.  This program will discuss the various forms of trauma exposure commonly experienced by recent immigrants and the challenges of assessing for the impact of trauma on functioning.

The program will also discuss how assessment of trauma affects the process of achieving legal status and the psychologist’s role in assessments for legal proceedings in immigration cases.  In addition to the provision of an effective assessment relevant to the immigration process, the psychologist may also have a role as an advocate for provision of mental health care to these individuals and families.


Among the specific questions for the presentation:

What are the more common types of trauma exposure in the immigration process?  What are the impacts of trauma on parents and children?  How do clinicians consider trauma in assessment and treatment in immigrant populations? What specific trauma-related evaluations are commonplace in this population and what are best practices in these?

Learning Objectives:  As a result of attending this workshop, it is expected that participants will:

  1. Describe the various types of frequent exposure to trauma during the immigration process.
  2. Identify various areas where a person’s post-immigration functioning is affected by trauma exposure and other sequelae of immigration.
  3. Describe the different types of immigration-related accommodations and how assessment of trauma exposure is important to each.

About the Presenter:  Dr. Díaz is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Arlington, Virginia.  He works with children, adolescents and adults, providing psychotherapy and psychological assessment, in both English and Spanish.  He has worked extensively with immigrants in his general practice.  He also specifically works in roles that require the consideration of the immigration process on psychological functioning.  He also provides formal assessments needed for individuals seeking legal status in the United States.

Dr. Rolando Díaz received his bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Miami (FL).  He received both his master’s in psychology and doctorate in clinical psychology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  His doctoral dissertation studied how cognitions and anxiety affected the academic performance of first-year law students.  His pre-doctoral internship was at the Woodburn Center for Community Mental Health in Annandale, Virginia.  He was a staff psychologist at the Lab School of Washington before moving into private practice in 2000.  He is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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