Friday, October 13, 2017
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.


Adelphi Manhattan Center
75 Varick Street, Suite 200
New York, NY 10013
Tagged: School of Social Work, Continuing Education, Manhattan Center

The Traumatic Impact of Immigration Policy Upon Clinical Practice

Event, Workshop, Continuing Education, Social Work CE, In-Person Workshop

With Jodi Ziesemer, J.D. and Cristina Muñiz de la Peña, Ph.D.

CEs: 6
Cost: $125.00

Immigrant communities throughout the United States are facing unprecedented stress and trauma in today’s political climate in light of recent Executive Orders and recent efforts to strictly and broadly enforce our country’s immigration laws. New priorities for arrests and deportation by immigration authorities have engendered heightened levels of fear and are discouraging immigrant and mixed-status families from engaging in every-day activities such as taking their children to school, attending parent-teacher conferences and enrolling children in medical insurance and public benefits. Clinicians themselves are reporting a need for more informed contemporaneous strategies to deal with the feelings of anxiety and dislocation engendered in their patient populations.

Back by popular demand, legal advocate Jodi Ziesemer will be joined by her colleague, Christina Muniz de Pena, Ph.D., to lead a thought-provoking and informative presentation and discussion that will provide an orientation regarding immigration status, the content and effects of the new policies, and how schools and communities programs can effectively engage immigrant children and immigrant families. The workshop will include a discussion of programs and partnerships Catholic Charities offers to assist and protect immigrant communities.

Learning Objectives


  • Basic understanding of lawful and unlawful immigration into the U.S.  
  • Understanding of legal implications of recent changes in immigration law and policy
  • Review of the legal process immigrants face and the challenges in navigating those processes
  • Psychosocial, legal and financial challenges during the immigration process
  • Understanding the role medical/mental health professionals can play in the immigration process
  • The importance of working in interdisciplinary legal, medical and mental health teams
  • Referrals: who to refer, when to refer and where to refer to immigration lawyers

Mental Health

  • Overview of psychological needs and characteristics of immigrant, particularly recently arrived immigrant children and families
  • Review of main mental health difficulties and diagnoses present in immigrant populations
  • Understanding the complexity of trauma sources and their impact
    • Before migration
    • During journey
    • During detention
    • Post-release
  • Examination of ways to identify vulnerable immigrant children and children of immigrants
  • Review of assessment methods to identify psychosocial needs
  • Discussion of effective interventions in working with immigrants
  • The role of mental health and other professionals supporting documentation in immigration cases for children

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About the Instructors

Jodi Ziesemer is a Supervising Attorney at Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New York for the Immigrant Children Advocacy and Relief Effort (ICARE) and Unaccompanied Minors Program. Ziesemer coordinates representation of recently arrived unaccompanied immigrant children and oversees a team of attorneys who provide services to immigrant youth detained with the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In addition, she has worked for the past eight years representing a wide variety of immigrants in front of Executive Office of Immigration Review (Immigration Court) and USCIS. Prior to graduating summa cum laude from New York Law School, Ziesemer worked as a Board of Immigration Appeals representative for the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago and as a paralegal at Fitzgerald and Company, LLC in Boston. During her thirteen years in immigration law, Ziesemer has worked on a range of projects including human trafficking, naturalization drives, pro bono asylum, representation for unaccompanied minors and victims of violent crime. Ziesemer holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Grinnell College and a Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a J.D. from New York Law School. She recently co-authored an article for the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal entitled, “The Right to Have Rights: Loss of Citizenship, Asylum, and Constitutional Principles.” (Vol 30, No 3, Spring 2016).

Cristina Muñiz de la Peña, Ph.D., is a counseling psychologist at the Center for Child Health and Resiliency (CCHR), where she provides mental health services to underserved children and families from the South Bronx community. Dr. Muñiz de la Peña is co-founder and mental health director of Terra Firma Social Justice for Immigrant Children, a program within the CCHR tailored to provide coordinated medical, mental health and legal services to unaccompanied undocumented children and their families. Dr. Muñiz de la Peña specializes in adolescent mental health, complex trauma, attachment, family-systems therapy, and acculturation. Dr. Muñiz de la Peña has worked with immigrant children and families in Spain and the US and is co-author of ”How Do Therapists Ally with Adolescents in Family Therapy? An Examination of Relational Control Communication in Early Sessions,” Journal of Counseling Psychology (2011), and “Terra Firma: Medical-Legal Care for Unaccompanied Immigrant Garifuna Children,” Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy. Dr. Muñiz de la Peña earned her doctoral degree from State University of New York at Albany and her expert certificate in family-systems therapy from the Unidad de Investigación en Intervención y Cuidado Familiar at the Universidad de A Coruña, in Spain.Dr. Muñiz de la Peña also provides trainings and presentations at national and international gatherings about issues related to immigrant children.


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Continuing Education Credit

  • Social Workers: Adelphi University School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0032.
  • Mental Health Counselors: Adelphi University School of Social Work is recognized by the NYS Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0068
  • Marriage and Family Therapists: Adelphi University is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider for continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists. #MFT-0038
  • Psychologists: Adelphi University School of Social Work is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The School of Social Work maintains responsibility for the program and its contents.
  • CASAC training hours: Program information has been submitted to the New York State Office of Addiction and Substance Abuse Services Education and Training for earning or re-credentialing for CASAC clock hours.

» See full credentialing information and CEUs

New York State Office of the Professions (NYSED) regulations require that participants must be present for the entire approved educational activity in order to receive a certificate for continuing education credits. There is no accommodation in the State regulations for late arrival, late return from lunch or breaks, or early departure. According to NYSED, in order to award social work CEUs; “When you offer a multi-day or multi-part course/educational activity, the learner must complete all parts in order to earn the certificate for contact hours, in the same way that a student must complete a semester-long course to receive college credit. You may not award partial credit for a program, even a one-day program, if the learner does not complete all requirements at that time.”

Accessibility Statement

The Student Access Office ensures equal access to all of Adelphi University’s programs, services and facilities for students with documented needs. Through assistance, advocacy and reasonable accommodations, the office provides an accessible and supportive campus environment.

The Student Access Office provides cost-free assistance and services that are tailored to meet the needs of individuals based on their specific, appropriately documented needs, while preserving Adelphi’s academic integrity and high standards of academic expectations and performance

If you are a student with a documented disability and wish to request accommodation services, please submit a Petition for Reasonable Accommodations form along with the required information as detailed in the Guidelines for Documentation.

Please be aware that all decisions regarding accommodations and equal access are made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and prevailing University Policy. 

For further information, please contact the Student Access Office at 516.877.3806 or

For further information, please contact:

Audrey Freshman, Ph.D., LCSW, CASAC
Director, Office of Professional and Continuing Education
Social Work Building, Room 235
p – 516.877.4339
e –

Tagged: School of Social Work, Continuing Education, Manhattan Center