New Course Prepares Psychology Students to Evaluate and Work With Asylum Seekers
The threat of persecution due to one’s religious or political beliefs may be unimaginable to most United States citizens, but for many people abroad, that threat is real and frightening, causing them to flee and seek refuge elsewhere.
Last year, two professors at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Dr. Bill Salton and Dr. Carl Auerbach, began researching the topic of asylum after a colleague, Dr. Barbara Eisold, suggested that asylum seekers be evaluated at the school’s Max and Celia Parnes Family Psychological and Psychoeducational Services Clinic. They brought this suggestion to Dr. Lawrence Siegel, dean of Ferkauf, and to Dr. Lata McGinn, associate professor of psychology and director of the clinical psychology program, who offered their support for the project.
Salton, associate clinical professor of psychology and clinical director of the Parnes Clinic, and Auerbach, professor of psychology, soon enrolled in intensive training sessions designed to qualify them as evaluators. They also enlisted the participation of their students, leading to the creation of a class devoted solely to training students in this specialized field.
The inaugural course, “Working With Asylum Seekers,” was offered last spring and taught students how to psychologically evaluate asylum seekers and write reports that would be presented in court on their behalf. Read the rest of this entry…