Cultural Neuropsychology in Immigration Mental Health Evaluations

September 29, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM EDT

Tedd Judd, PhD, ABPP

Monica Oganes, PhD

Claudette Antuña, PsyD

  • Please note that the Zoom link will become active shortly before the event begins. 
  • The CE form will become available after the event concludes.

Immigration issues involve high-stakes evaluations and skills that extend beyond typical cultural neuropsychology.  This presentation will provide attendees with a roadmap for applying their current skills to this population in order to answer common referral questions posed in immigration proceedings.

  1. Identify and access the legal foundations and mental health questions for 6 types of immigration evaluations.
  2. Identify the roles that neuropsychologists may sometimes take in such evaluations. 
  3. Identify the cultural and clinical skills needed for such evaluations and access resources to acquire and facilitate such skills.

Tedd Judd, PhD, ABPP-CN, is a cross-cultural clinical and forensic neuropsychologist with 40 years of experience. He has evaluated clients from about 90 countries and has taught neuropsychology in 27 countries, including a Fulbright Senior Lectureship in Spain and two years of teaching and living in Costa Rica. He is Past President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society and recipient of their Mentoring in Cultural Neuropsychology Award. He teaches a practicum in non-English cross-cultural psychology. He has completed over 1000 evaluations for medical exceptions from the US citizenship exam and has also addressed all of the other immigration evaluation issues presented in this workshop. He is Distinguished Professor and academic co-director of Central America’s first Master’s degree in neuropsychology at the Universidad del Valle, Guatemala. He teaches neuropsychological assessment at Seattle Pacific University. He is board certified in clinical neuropsychology and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology. He has published a book on Neuropsychotherapy and over 20 other book chapters and articles. He received his BA from Princeton, his PhD from Cornell, training in neuropsychology at the Boston VA hospital, and his postdoctoral training in neuropsychology at the University of Washington.

Monica Oganes, Ph.D. started her career with an Ed.S. in school psychology from the University of Central Florida. To increase representation and to provide services to minoritized groups, she pursued a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a neuropsychology concentration at Fielding Graduate University and completed an internship in pediatric rehabilitation at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital. She was given the Distinguished Alumni Award at George Mason University. As an immigrant from Peru, Dr. Oganes is passionate about providing trauma-informed services to culturally and linguistically diverse individuals. She served as President of the Florida Association of School Psychologists and Latino Co-Chair of the National Association of School Psychologists for over a decade. She recently was elected Florida Delegate for NASP and serves as Team Leader for the Bilingual Interest Group. Dr. Oganes has conducted hundreds of immigration evaluations and has testified in immigration court numerous times. She provides training at Universities, psychological and educational organizations at the national and international levels. She has translated about twenty psychological instruments and provides consultation to test publishers. Her current work includes book chapters in the provision of services to immigrant children in the schools and in multicultural school neuropsychology.

Claudette Artuña, PsyD is a bilingual and bicultural (Spanish-English) clinician.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Barry University in 1975 and her Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from Florida International University in 1982. As part of her doctoral program in 2006, she created a practicum and later an internship that responded to requests for forensic psychological evaluations from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and obtained a Certificate in Global Mental Health from Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma. He received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Washington School of Professional Psychology in 2012 at Argosy University-Seattle. The Immigration court in Seattle and Tacoma considers her an expert in mental health issues affecting individuals seeking legal relief.  She has provided the USCIS over 1,000 written reports as well as oral testimony in about 1/3 of the cases; 75% of these cases are pro bono.

As a member of the Immigration Psychology Working Group, she co-authored a report: Paris, M., Antuña, C., Bailey, C.D.R., Hass, G.A., Muñiz de la Peña, C, Silva, M.A. & Srinivas, T. (2018). Vulnerable but not broken: Psychological challenges and resilience pathways among unaccompanied children from Central American. New Haven, CT: Immigration Psychology Working Group. On October 20, 2018, she received from the National Latinx Psychological Association – A Presidential citation for her work with the immigrant community. Her podcast: Speaking of Psychology: On the Front Lines of the Immigration Crisis: is available. On October 24, 2019, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project honored her with their Annual Community Partner Award at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle, WA. The National Latinx Psychological Association endorsed the Mercado, A., Antuña, C, Bailey, C., Garcini, L., Hass, G.A., Henderson, C., Koslofsky, S., Morales, F., & Venta, A. (Under Review). Professional Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations for Immigration Proceedings. Journal of Latinx Psychology.

Capps, Randy, Julia Gelatt, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, and Jennifer Van Hook. 2020. Unauthorized immigrants in the United States: Stable numbers, changing origins. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Ewing, W.A., Martinez, D., & Rumbaut, R.G. (2015). The criminalization of immigration in the United States. American Immigration Council Special Report.

Sulkowski ML, Wolf JN. Undocumented immigration in the United States: Historical and legal context and the ethical practice of school psychology. School Psychology International. 2020;41(4):388-405. doi:10.1177/0143034320927449

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Dr. Silva’s parents immigrated from Panama and Chile to the United States, and she was born and raised in melting pot that is New York City. She grew up speaking Spanish at home and feels fortunate to have grown up in an environment where cultural diversity was the norm, not the exception.

During her training to become a neuropsychologist, Dr. Silva was often asked to work with Spanish-speaking patients, though most training sites did not have supervisors who also spoke Spanish or had sufficient cultural knowledge relevant to Latinx populations. She joined HNS as a student and found mentorship and training resources that helped her gain competency in providing neuropsychological services to these patients. Dr. Silva has served on the HNS Board as Member-at-Large (2014-2016) and Secretary (2019-2022). She has also been involved with several committees over the years and is currently serving as the Chair of the Information Technology (IT) Committee. She views HNS as the main organization to promote development of professional resources and scientific advancements in neuropsychology that are specific to Latinx groups; she is honored to help the organization in any way she can. 

Dr. Silva is the owner of Pacific Neurobehavioral Clinic, PC, a group practice in San Diego, California that offers neuropsychological evaluation and psychotherapy services to adults with various neuropsychiatric conditions. She engages in clinical and civil forensic work and oversees the clinic operations.

Educational, training and professional experiences include:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Florida Institute of Technology
  • Post-doctoral fellowships – Fullerton Neuropsychological Services, St. Jude Medical Center (one year; neurorehabilitation) and University of California San Diego (one year; clinical neuropsychology)
  • Staff neuropsychologist at Sharp Memorial and Grossmont hospitals from 2009-2012
  • Board certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) for the state of California
  • Treasurer and Current Chair of California Psychological Association-Division 8 (Neuropsychology)

In her spare time, Dr. Silva enjoys playing and making music (piano and electronic instruments; she recently took up learning how to play the theremin), playing tennis, karaoke, and spending time with family and friends.