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Client FAQs

Why did my lawyer recommend an evaluation?

  • Evaluations can support your immigration process by providing documentation of psychosocial distress or risk of future distress related to your type of immigration petition


How do I get started?

  • Contact Michelle online, at or call/text 781-226-1606 to discuss your situation, learn about applicable costs and have a chance to ask any questions

  • Please note that all referral calls are conducted in English. If translation is needed, please try to call with someone you trust to make initial arrangements. Michelle can otherwise try using Google Translate over text or email.

  • Once you decide this is a good fit, we will schedule two interviews, roughly one week apart


What happens in the process?

  • Once you are scheduled, Michelle will send you a consent form to participate in the evaluation and a form to sign giving her permission to collaborate with your lawyer

  • Michelle will contact your lawyer to inform them you are scheduled for an evaluation and learn of any relevant legal details

  • If you are comfortable to do so, Michelle will send you background forms to complete electronically before the first interview

  • You will have two interviews, each lasting 1-2 hours, during which Michelle will review your history, life experiences and current challenges, with a specific focus on details relevant to the specific immigration case.

  • Between the two interviews, Michelle will send you self-assessment forms to complete that she will review before the second interview

  • After the second interview, Michelle will coordinate with any outside contacts, if relevant, such as school personnel, healthcare providers or other family members

  • Michelle will then write a comprehensive evaluation


I am really uncomfortable with discussing my past, will I be able to do an evaluation properly?

  • Michelle recognizes that a mental health evaluation can be uncomfortable in the best of circumstances and particularly challenging with the stress that can accompany immigration proceedings. She has years of experience as a psychotherapist supporting individuals and families through significant challenges

  • Michelle will go at your pace and ensure you feel emotionally safe and comfortable through the process. Please keep in mind that you will not be forced to share anything you do not want to share

  • Most clients describe that the evaluation was much easier emotionally than expected and that they actually feel better after than they did before the evaluation

  • Keep in mind that there is no wrong way to do an evaluation and nothing you will need to do to prepare. Michelle will guide you through the process one step at a time


What language is used for evaluations?

  • All evaluations are conducted in English

  • Michelle has experience working with interpreters and can provide recommendations to hire an interpreter if another language is needed

  • Please note that a professional interpreter is needed, rather than a family member or friend

  • You will be responsible for the cost of the interpreter and arrange payment with the interpreter independently


Will I get to see the evaluation?

  • Yes, Michelle will provide you with a draft of the evaluation to review for accuracy and to ensure if feels representative of your experiences

  • Michelle will also provide your lawyer with a draft of the evaluation

  • Once the evaluation is finalized and signed, a copy will be provided both to you and to your lawyer directly


Where are the interviews held?

  • Interviews are generally held online using Zoom. Please ensure you have access to video, reliable internet and a private space to meet

  • If you prefer to meet in person, in-person meetings can be held for an added fee to offset the cost of office rental space in Wakefield, MA


How long does it take to get the evaluation?

  • Availability fluctuates from being able to schedule interviews the next week or within a couple months

  • Typically, reports are available within four weeks of completing the interviews

  • If a report is needed urgently, a rush fee can be applied to ensure either rapid booking and/or rapid report completion, as quickly as within 48 hours if needed


How is payment handled?

  • A flat fee includes all client communications, attorney communications, client meetings, scoring of standardized assessments and the detailed, written report

  • Expedited evaluations are available for additional fee

  • Payment plans are available (50% at first session, 25% at second session, 25% when report ready)

  • Payment can be made securely online. Cash or checks are also accepted

  • Interpreters will be hired and paid for by the client separately

  • An additional fee may be required for in-person sessions

  • An additional fee applies for court testimony

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