Meet Dr. Bahar Safaei-Far
Director, Southern California
Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. Bahar Safaei-Far is the Forensic Psychology Group's Director, Southern California. Based in Los Angeles, Dr. Safaei-Far provides clinical and forensic psychological services to attorneys throughout the Southwest, including the states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Dr. Safaei-Far's professional services include psychological consultation, psychodiagnostic testing, expert reports, and expert witness testimony in the areas of immigration law, employment law, criminal law, and civil law, including negligence law. As a forensic psychology expert, Dr. Safaei-Far has worked collaboratively with lawyers in hundreds of cases in California and throughout the Southwest. Her cogent testimony and expert reports communicate clearly about issues related to mental status and emotional functioning. She also performs Fitness for Duty evaluations, reports, and recommendations, and can accommodate weekend and evening appointments.
A United States Navy Veteran
A U.S. Navy veteran, Dr. Safaei-Far is experienced in providing and managing the delivery of psychological services. She has managed large teams that provided psychological services to veterans and their families in crisis. For the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), she performed evaluations for the courts and managed the clinical operations of a crisis unit that delivered services to special population parolee clients, including sex offenders, substance abusers, arsonists, inmates who had been veterans, and dually diagnosed men and women.
Fitness For Duty Evaluations and Appeals
Dr. Safaei-Far has extensive experience in conducting psychological Fitness for Duty Evaluations (FFDE) with respect to any security or safety-related position, for both public and private entities. She is available to perform Fitness for Duty assessments for municipal law enforcement agencies or private firms within California, and for cities, counties, state, and federal law enforcement agencies outside of California. To determine whether the subject employee is fit for duty, Dr. Safaei-Far performs clinical interviews and, as needed, selects, administers, and interprets a wide range of psychological tests instruments. In addition to Fitness for Duty Evaluations, Dr. Safaei-Far also performs psychological screenings and risk assessment evaluations for return-to-work clearances in any safety or security-related employment environment. Additionally, Dr. Safaei-Far has extensive knowledge of California's Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) requirements. She is qualified as a POST evaluator, and performs evaluations on a case-by-case basis for law enforcement appeals and other positions governed under POST requirements.
A Young Man's Psychological Report for a U Visa
A hard-working young man emigrated from his war-torn province in Pakistan in hope of a better life in the United States. Soon after arriving in Indianapolis, he was able to get work in a convenience store. While working in Indiana, he was held up at gunpoint two times within the span of two months. Traumatized and fearing for his life, he fled to Las Vegas, Nevada, where old friends from his home village took him in. Still terrorized, he socially isolated himself, and was afraid to leave the house after two o'clock in the afternoon. His friends convinced him to apply for a U Visa to legalize his status, and actually drove him to Los Angeles to meet with Dr. Safaei-Far. The young man was still so traumatized by the hold ups that he had a very hard time even talking about the crimes, and when he did speak about them he became extremely distressed. Dr. Safaei-Far's psychological report attested to the evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder that the young man suffered as a result of the two robberies, helping to support the application for the U Visa. The young man was able to obtain the U Visa, allowing him to remain in the United States and permitting him to seek out treatment for his posttraumatic stress disorder.
A Mother and Daughter Are Granted Asylum
Maria was a single mother with a five-year old daughter who fled her home in northern Guatemala after being raped and severely beaten. Her attacker -- a man known by many in the region to be a serial rapist and murderer of young women - had left her for dead. But he had strong political ties, and would never be apprehended. The villagers were astonished that Maria had survived the brutal attack, as other young women had died at the hands of this high-profile killer. However, Maria was convinced that he would come back to finish the job. She felt her only hope was to leave her home. She and her little girl endured a horrific journey, traveling north through Mexico, mostly on foot. When they finally reached the US border, they tried to enter and were transferred to a detention camp. Maria told the authorities what had happened to her, and that she was certain that her rapist would come back to kill. She begged for asylum. Maria's application for asylum was taken up by a large law firm based in Pasadena, California, a firm that accepted one or two pro bono immigration cases each year. Her new immigration lawyers helped arrange for Maria to live with a distant cousin in El Monte, California, while her case was being decided. The attorneys called on an experienced clinical and forensic psychologist, Dr. Bahar Safaei-Far, to evaluate the young woman and her child. Dr. Safaei-Far's psychological evaluation yielded an expert report substantiating the current level of emotional disturbance for the young mother and her daughter, and the potential detriment it would cause to their psychological and physical well-being should they be returned to their home country. Maria's was a complex case involving more than two years of research, evaluation, and hearings. Her attorneys were able to locate witnesses in her home country who testified to the facts of the case. Through a long and arduous legal battle, and with the assistance of her immigration attorneys and Dr. Safaei-Far's expert report and testimony, Maria and her daughter were ultimately granted asylum. Today, Maria has a good job in a factory in Fresno, California, and continues to take English classes. Maria's daughter is an honor student in the eighth grade.
A Spousal Abuse Case
Dr. Safaei-Far evaluated Roberta, an attractive young woman who had come to the United States on a student visa from South Africa to study in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Roberta was preparing to return home when she met Michael, a soldier from Mississippi. After a whirlwind romance, they married and moved to Oxnard, California. Only five months later, Michael was deployed to Iraq for a combat mission. While he was away, Roberta's student visa expired. Before he left for Iraq, Michael had sponsored the initial steps of her application for permanent status, and they were waiting for her permanent resident application to be approved. But eleven months later, when he returned from Iraq, Michael was a different person. He was drinking heavily, which he had never done before, and he was verbally and physically abusive. Still in love, Roberta tried to help him but of the blue, with no explanation, he announced that he was filing for divorce. Michael contacted Immigration and withdrew the application he had supported. He stopped her insurance, stopped paying the mortgage, and Roberta soon found herself with no means of financial support. For several months, she was homeless, living out of a suitcase, becoming more and more anxious and depressed. Finally, she was able to land a job as a nanny. She worked around the clock to save money in order to retain an attorney so she could apply for a waiver. After nearly a year, Michael returned, asking forgiveness and promising to make amends. He also promised to seek treatment for his PTSD, and she forgave him. They moved into a small apartment, and Roberta believed her life was back on track. But two months later, the military police came looking for Michael; he was in serious trouble. Once again, Roberta's life was turned upside down. Michael had disappeared again, this time with all the money that she had been saving for an immigration attorney. She was referred to Dr. Safaei-Far, and was able to reveal the emotional and physical abuse she had endured at the hands of her husband on his return from Iraq. Dr. Safaei-Far's report outlined the events that had taken place and the psychological turmoil that Roberta had endured as a victim of extreme cruelty on the part of her spouse, supporting her application for spousal abuse.
An Extreme and Exceptional Hardship Case
Han-bin and Jae-joon, a Korean father and son, had been granted visas to study in the United States. Living in San Jose, California, they received financial support from Jae-joon's mother, Ji-eun, who had stayed behind in Korea to work. Over the years, Ji-eun was able to establish a successful small business in Korea, although she suffered some depression as a result of the long separation from her husband and son, halfway around the world. After four years, Ji-eun was able to visit her husband and son in California, and was overjoyed to be with them again. Husband and son had become fully Americanized, and the family applied for permanent residency. Ji-eun had enjoyed excellent health all her life, but shortly after her return to Korea, she was stricken with a rare and extremely painful blood disease. She suffered from an inflammation of the blood vessels throughout her body that left her disoriented and unable to balance or walk more than a few feet. Ji-eun now needed constant help to function at a minimal level, and she became clinically depressed. Although his visa had run out while they awaited a decision on their application for permanent residency, Ji-eun's husband flew to Seoul to be with her. Her son, now a student at the University of California at San Diego, took a leave of absence from college to go to her side. While they were with her in Korea, the family was summoned to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. Mother and son were granted permanent residency, but Han-bin's application was denied. After several months, Ji-eun was well enough to travel, and Jae-joon accompanied his mother back to California for an emergency appointment with Dr. Safaei-Far. She was able to accommodate them with a Sunday appointment, which had been set up by Han-bin from Seoul. Her evaluation confirmed that Ji-eun's inability to be with her husband on a daily basis had created clinically significant depressive symptoms. The report showed the potential for Ji-eun's continued decompensation of overall daily functioning if her husband was not able to join her in the United States.
A Political Asylum Case
Iris and Youssef, an Egyptian Coptic Christian couple, met at a church function in Cairo. After a three-year courtship, they married and moved to a suburb of Cairo. The couple had two young daughters, born six years apart, but when her second child was still a toddler, Iris, who worked as a translator for a British news agency, began staying out all night. When she did come home, she became increasingly ill tempered and sometimes physically abusive to the children. It did not take long for Youssef to confirm that Iris was having an affair with another man, whom he recognized as a young Muslim from their neighborhood. Since divorce went against his strong Christian faith, he tried for two years to save his marriage. Finally, forced by learning of his wife's promiscuity with multiple other men, and her neglect and abuse of their daughters when she did come home, Youssef filed for divorce. With the help of a private investigator, he was able to prove that she was living with a man in Cairo. He petitioned the Egyptian Family Court and was granted full custody of the girls, pending a second court date in one year. The court's decision produced an unexpected and violent reaction from his wife, who had shown little interest in the children for two long years. Suddenly, Youssef began receiving death threats on the phone. He was told to give up his children. Two months after the calls began, four men came to his place of business; they destroyed his offices and left him severely beaten. Fearing another attack, he moved the girls to his sister's house, but the men arrived there and threatened his mother and sister while he was at work. They forced his sister to sign a blank sheet of paper. The private investigator learned that the men were members of a fundamentalist revolutionary group, known to use terror to achieve its goals. As the group gained political power, Youssef found his case in the hands of a different judge who reversed the original custody decision. The new judge gave his ex-wife custody of the girls, as well as their home and all of Youssef's property. Powerless and alone, Youssef went into a deep depression. His sister's "sworn statement" had been used to deny him custody, and he was no longer able to trust anyone, even his own family. Denied even visitation with his girls, and still getting threats from his wife's "friends," he became paranoid and began experiencing hallucinations. He was unable to work and went into seclusion. His brother, Davood, a U.S. citizen then living and working in Rancho Cucamonga, California, reached out to Youssef's doctor in Cairo. The doctor strongly recommended that Davood get Youssef out of Egypt, where, unable to see his beloved girls, he was spiraling into deeper depression and paranoia. Davood brought his brother to live with him and his own family Rancho Cucamonga. Although still hypervigilant and depressed, Youssef is now under the care of a therapist and medical doctors. Dr. Safaei-Far was asked to conduct an extensive evaluation and report on Youssef's psychological history and current status as part of his application for political asylum.
Expert Services in Criminal and Civil Cases
Dr. Safaei-Far is available for forensic psychological assessments of defendants facing various criminal charges. She offers services in cases where competency to stand trial is at issue, where PTSD may be a factor, and in criminal mitigation, sentencing evaluations, and parole hearing evaluations. In the area of employment law, Dr. Safaei-Far provides expert services and expert witness testimony to plaintiffs and defense attorneys in age discrimination, disability discrimination, racial and religious discrimination, GLBT discrimination, and sexual harassment cases, as well as hostile work environment and retaliation cases.
Dr. Safaei-Far's Background and Education
Dr. Safaei-Far is a licensed psychologist in the State of California, and holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Alliant University, California School of Professional Psychology-LA. She also holds a MA degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral thesis on the Development of a Substance Abuse Program for Women in the Military was published, and she is a certified Substance Abuse Professional for the Department of Transportation. A U.S. Navy veteran, she received Meritorious medals and other honors from the Navy, including a Letter of Commendation from the Secretary of Defense.
Dr. Safaei-Far's professional affiliations include memberships in the American Psychological Association (APA), the California Psychological Association (CPA), and the Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA). If you believe that a forensic consultation could strengthen your case or need a fitness for duty evaluation or pre-employment psychological screening appeal, you can reach Dr. Safaei-Far in Los Angeles at 818-963-1338.
Evening and Weekend Appointments Available.
- Forensic Psychological Evaluations
- Forensic Reports
- Expert Witness Testimony
- Psychological Testing
- Personality Testing
- Neuropsychological Testing
- Comprehensive Record Review
- Fitness for Duty Evaluations
- Pre-Employment Psychological Screening Appeals
- Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
- Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II)
- Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, Second Edition (Bender-Gestalt II)
- Dementia Rating Scale - 2 (DRS-2)
- Sentence Completions (civilian and law enforcement)
- Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory III- (MCMI-III)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 (MMPI-2)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - Adolescent (MMPI-A)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2RF (MMPI-2RF)
- California Psychological Inventory (CPI)
- Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)
- Projective Drawings
- Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS)
- 16 Personality Factors (16PF)
- Symptom Checklist 90-R (SCL-90-R)
- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- Comprehensive Trail Making Test (CTMT)
- Trail Making Test (A and B)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - IV (WAIS-IV)
- Wechsler Memory Scales IV- (WMS-IV)
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II (WIAT-II)
- Wechsler Memory Scales IV (WMS-IV)
- Woodcock Johnson IV (WJ-IV)
Evaluations at ICE Detention Centers and Correctional Facilities
The doctors of the Forensic Psychology Group are available to perform psychological evaluations and criminal psychological assessments at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers and correctional facilities.