Discussing Diagnosis When Writing Immigration Evaluations
What happens when you do not have a diagnosis during an evaluation? As clinicians, we have a highly-regarded education, and we know the importance of an ethical diagnosis. In immigration work, you can feel like you have to include a diagnosis in your evaluation. If we feel like we need to write a diagnosis, then we are putting too much weight in this sector of the assessment. A diagnosis does support the evaluation. However, that same foundation can be illustrated in the evaluation using a different manner. If a diagnosis is not present, it would be unethical to include a diagnosis, right? This post explains what other areas of the evaluation you can focus on to ensure your client gets ethical treatment.
Explore Other Domains Of The Evaluation
If you’re working with a client and they just don’t meet a diagnosis, what should you do? That’s where you need to explore other domains of the evaluation. One of those domains has to do with other areas of emotional impact. Let’s say one of those factors is safety. It would help if you had an in-depth conversation with your client. How would they be impacted if they needed to relocate? The client should have emotional outputs. Highlight what is taking place on an emotional level. For example, your client may feel emotionally and mentally distraught when faced with a big relocation. It could bring up past childhood trauma and affect their daily lives.
Include Data In Your Evaluation
There are other components not related to a diagnosis that can hold weight in your evaluations. For one, you should include data in the evaluation. Something that you can research is if it’s safe to travel to a particular country. Also, you’ll want to add data about that country’s government. Will their government provide the same amount of safety that the government does here in the United States? Plus, you’ll need to include medical data. Are there enough hospitals in that country? Will your client be able to receive mental health services? If not, what are the implications and emotional distress that will take place?
As you can see, even if there is no diagnosis, we can still provide an ethical and well thought out evaluation. As a clinician, this can give you a sense of calmness.
If you’re not sure about writing an immigration evaluation, I recommend getting training to do these evaluations. Although there is no gold standard in terms of qualifications, I have put my skills and knowledge into courses/consultations and have trained hundreds of other clinicians in immigration evaluation. Are you ready to write expert-level immigration evaluations? Enroll in my training courses HERE.
This blog post is a recap from my YouTube channel. Watch the video Discussing Diagnosis When Writing Immigration Evaluations.
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