November-December 2012

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SPOTLIGHT by Dr. Megan Seltz Counseling for Domestic Violence Clients D status in the United States or they fear the stigma of divorce or separation. Nevertheless, immigrant DV survivors have not only legal issues to address, but, at times, their psycho- logical issues, too. to bolster legal filings. Usually, psychologists evaluate the medical and psychological consequences of the abuse. Dur- ing the sessions, clients frequently learn that they suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, not just post-traumatic stress disorder. Psychologists will recommend a variety of treatments, such as psychotherapy and activities to combat social isolation or to manage anxiety. They also prepare a comprehensive report that describes, among other things, the harmful effects of the abuse, as well as a social history that contextualizes the abuse in familial and cultural terms. Attorneys can include this report with the applications for relief under the Violence Against Women Act, which allows DV survivors to pursue lawful status without their abusers. Other times, attorneys refer cases to psychologists when Incorporating Reports from Psychologists Attorneys can refer DV-related cases to psychologists they suspect interpersonal violence in a client's relationship. Generally, primary psychotherapy treatment goals include promoting safety, strengthening coping and decision-mak- ing skills, and challenging irrational beliefs that the abuse is acceptable or normal behavior. During therapy, a client can reflect on the status quo of the relationship and the pos- sible ramifications of continuing it. If he or she decides to Dr. Megan Seltz is a bilingual clinical psychologist in Jackson Heights, NY. She specializes in psychotherapy, immigration and forensic consultations, and expert evaluations. She can be reached at mseltzphd@hotmail.com. The author's views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. 10 VOICE omestic violence (DV) impacts all races and so- cio-economic backgrounds. Some immigrants in the throes of marital discord, however, face more barriers to obtaining help because they rely on their abusive spouses to maintain lawful LEARN MORE ABOUT LITIGATION Vulnerable Positions, VAWA & SIJs Purchase > leave the abuser, then the client would consider the steps to execute that goal. With permission from the client, the psy- chologist informs the attorney of the evaluation. For some It is believed that applicants with older children have a better chance of being granted cancellation of removal than applicants with younger children. However, is the psychological impact of relocation actually greater in older children than in younger children? ILLUSTRATION BY BRADLEY AMBURN ASK THE DOCTOR:

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