Working with an Immigrant Population: Best Clinical Practices
Presented by Sonia Dhaliwal, Psy.D. and Ximena Radjenovic, Ph.D.
2 Homestudy Cultural Competency CE Credits

 Approval pending for Nevada Psychologists and LCSWs. Approved for MFTs.
 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NPA maintains   responsibility for this program and its content.


Click here to Register Online

About the Workshop

Culture consists of shared cognitions, standard ways of performance, and unexamined assumptions that drive individuals’ beliefs; each culture has specific patterns, such as shared attitudes, values, beliefs, norms, and established social roles (Triandis, 1996). Although many individuals tend to be resilient, they differ in terms of personality characteristics, ethnicity, worldviews, and life experiences (Bonnano, Westphal, & Mancini, 2011). According to McCrae (2004), the interaction between individuals and their social environment has always been of great interest for personality psychologists. Thus, social environments and individuals’ characteristics may influence how they cope with adversity and how positive changes following adversity occur (Ungar, 2013).

This presentation will focus on some of the clinical procedure barriers to treating immigrant populations, such as, lack of culturally sensitive and relevant services, clinician bias, and communication issues related to language differences and cultural nuances. The presenters will also examine how cultural context shapes the ways in which clients conceptualize and express psychological distress and resilience, cope with distress, and seek help. There will also be a presentation of best clinical practices on how to assess and diagnose immigrant clients within a clinical setting. 

Learning Objectives

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:
 Identify unique factors that play a role in the therapeutic alliance (e.g., trust, language barrier, stigma regarding mental health, role of shame in asking for professional psychological help).
2.  Describe how immigrants present their distress in a psychological assessment and therapy sessions (e.g., somatic, emotional, thought, behavioral content).
3. Utilize case scenarios to demonstrate applications of cultural competency in clinical practice (e.g., shared identity does not make for a shared experience, build therapeutic alliance, normalize the patient’s experience, help patient process emotions and build confidence).

About the Speakers

Dr. Sonia Dhaliwal is a Licensed Psychologist and currently runs her own private practice in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Dhaliwal is also the CEO and founder of RaD Diversity Consulting. Previously, Dr. Dhaliwal served as the Director of Training of the APA accredited internship (CAPS) at UNLV. She received her graduate training at the School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University, OR. She then completed her Clinical Internship at Michigan State University followed by her post doctoral training at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Dhaliwal was trained as an Emotion Focused therapist and her clinical interests lie in working with Complex Trauma within non-majority populations and running Substance Use and Eating Disorder groups. She is also passionate about issues pertaining to the experience of clinical supervision and mentorship in non majority graduate students. In addition, Dr. Dhaliwal works closely with organizations such as the United Nations, specifically (UNHCR) in studying Trauma within non-majority populations and advocating for International Women’s Rights. In 2014, she presented a project at the UN that she had developed and completed with UNHCR. Dr. Dhaliwal currently serves as Southern Region Board Secretary of the Nevada Psychological Association (NPA). She also serves on the board of an organization called Step UP! which was developed to empower Rwandan women who are survivors of the genocide. Dr. Dhaliwal's CV

Dr. Ximena Radjenovic was born and raised in Romania, a country with a culture rooted in strong familial and social connections. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Bucharest and continued her education graduating with a master in psychology from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Radjenovic graduated from Howard University with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and is currently a postdoctoral clinical health psychology fellow at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She completed her doctoral psychology internship at Student Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Radjenovic is also the CEO and founder of RaD Diversity Consulting. Her experience of living in a different culture than her own shaped her research, counseling, and clinical interests broadly in cultural influence on resilience following trauma. More specifically, she is interested in understanding cultural influence on trauma associated cognitive appraisals, coping process in diverse populations, and role of culture in responses to trauma. Her primary clinical areas of interests include: trauma-related issues, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other comorbidities. Dr. Radjenovic enjoyed presenting at several national conferences on topics related to diversity issues, trauma, PTSD, and social justice. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Dr. Radjenovic's CV


This presentation is intended for psychologists, other licensed mental health providers, and graduate students of psychology.

General Information

Access to Webinar/Handout Materials

This is a 2-hour pre-recorded presentation for homestudy CE credit. Electronic copy of handout materials will be sent out by email to attendee after registration is completed along with link(s) to view pre-recorded live, virtual webinar.

Refunds & Grievance Policies

Participants may direct questions or complaints to NPA to 888-654-0050. 

Approval and CE Credit

Approved by Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners. Nevada Psychological Association (NPA) is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists. NPA maintains responsibility for the program and its content. 

NPA will issue certificates of completion. APA CE rules require that we only issue credits to those who watch the entire pre-recorded presentation and complete and pass an online posttest question form. The online posttest question form, required to complete for CE credit, will include posttest questions provided by the presenter as well as two attendance verification words which were spoken randomly by the presenter during the pre-recorded presentation. Attendees are required to list the attendance verification words on the posttest form and correctly answer the posttest questions provided by the presenter. A passing grade of at least 75% is required to receive CE credit. If your tabulated score is under 75%, CE credit will not be given.


Bonanno, G. A., Westphal, M., & Mancini, A. D. (2011). Resilience to loss and potential trauma. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7, 511-535.

Buse, N. A., Burker, E. J., & Bernacchio, C. (2013). Cultural variation in resilience as a response to traumatic experience. Journal of Rehabilitation79(2), 15.

McCrae, R. R. (2004). Human nature and culture: A trait perspective. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 3-14. Doi:

Triandis, H. C. (1996). The psychological measurement of cultural syndromes. American Psychologist, 51(4), 407-415. Doi: Doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.51.4.407.

Ungar, M. (2013). Resilience, trauma, context, and culture. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse - Sage Journals, 14(3), 255-266. Doi: 10.1177/1524838013487805.

There is no potential conflict of interest and/or commercial support for this program or its presenters.