Meet Dr. David Rakofsky
Midwest Regional Director
Clinical and forensic psychologist Dr. David Rakofsky is the Midwest Regional Director of the Forensic Psychology Group. Based in Chicago, Dr. Rakofsky provides forensic psychological services to attorneys throughout the Midwest, including psychological consultation, pre-deposition consultation, psychodiagnostic testing, expert reports, and expert witness testimony in the areas of immigration, criminal, employment, and civil, including injury, law. He leads a team of talented psychologists who offer direct psychological services in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. Dr. Rakofsky has a deep interest in the legal aspects of forensic psychology and issues related to mental status and emotional functioning.
Respected in the Area of Immigration Law
Dr. Rakofsky has put his experience to work for many attorneys who practice immigration law in the Midwest. He is experienced in working collaboratively with lawyers on a wide range of cases. In the area of immigration law, Dr. Rakofsky is available for consultation on cases of extreme and exceptional hardship, political asylum, spousal abuse, and U Visas. A few examples of ways in which Dr. Rakofsky has assisted immigration attorneys include:
- A Case of Exceptional Hardship
A highly skilled Taiwanese national with an executive position and a financial interest in a U.S. manufacturing entity had become increasingly clinically depressed after petitioning unsuccessfully to have his spouse join him in the United States. Their child lived with him in Chicago, Illinois, and the 12-year-old boy was struggling academically and feeling desperately alone and anxious while his mother remained across the world, unable to join them. Dr. Rakofsky's evaluations and expert report showed the potential for continued degradation of overall daily functioning of the child and the petitioner, given the conditions as diagnosed.
- A Wife's Application, Sabotaged By Her Husband
Dr. Rakofsky evaluated a 43-year-old woman who lived in Cook County (Skokie), Illinois. Married to a U.S. citizen, she was a native of the former Soviet Union and had been working in Illinois for two years. She had a documented history of severe depressive symptomatology. After sponsoring the initial steps of her application for citizenship, her husband, who had suddenly and secretly filed for divorce while she was visiting her grown children in her home country, proceeded to sabotage the completion of his ailing wife's application with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), leaving her status in jeopardy. Her depressive state, coupled with the conditions in her home country, was an element of her application for a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) waiver.
- A Case of Spousal Abuse
A 29-year-old woman from Mexico, married to a U.S. citizen, was living in Cicero, Illinois. She became acutely depressed and unable to perform normal daily functions after discovering her husband's illegal remarriage to another woman in Berwyn. Her husband's betrayal and subsequent abandonment led first to panic attacks, but eventually to a comprehensive emotional and functional breakdown. Facing the threat of a deportation order, she petitioned on the basis of her psychological state, the lack of available and safe care for her in her home country, and of being the victim of extreme cruelty on the part of her legal spouse.
- A Psychological Report for a U-Visa
A robber wielding a knife attacked a hard-working immigrant family from Mexico in their Waukegan, Illinois convenience store. The attacker caused permanent physical injuries to the couple's young daughter, and further traumatized a younger daughter when he fled the store with the child in tow. The U-visa they sought through their attorney was supported with Dr. Rakofsky's psychological report. His expert report testified to their enduring emotional scars, and predicted further deterioration of the psychological states of the younger children. The girls -- United States citizens -- were at risk of suddenly losing their dad to deportation or of being moved themselves to an unfamiliar part of the world, rife with corruption, violence, and poor economic and educational opportunities.
- A Student's American Dream Deferred
Dr. Rakofsky evaluated a 23-year-old Senegalese man, who lived alone in Cincinnati, Ohio, for four years after arriving on a student visa that was about to expire. The aspiring engineering student's academic career was cut violently short after he became the victim of a robbery at the convenience store where he was clerking after his engineering classes. Traumatic, intrusive memories of being struck on the head with the grip of a semi-automatic pistol that was initially pointed at his temple, haunted him to the point of his becoming a virtual shut-in. Following the attack, the young man was failing to attend classes or work, and was unable to socialize. The petition made on his behalf asked that he be allowed to continue the pursuit of his American Dream, and the psychological testimony served to support it. Dr. Rakofsky also helped to connect this young man with affordable psychotherapy in his community.
- A Professor Seeks Political Asylum
A Chinese national, living in Aurora, Illinois, was seeking political asylum in the United States based on past persecution for his democratic ideals. The 52-year-old college professor demonstrated a social history positive for extreme intimidation and threats to his life and liberty when last in his home country. His behavioral picture suggested that he was suffering post-traumatic anxiety and dread of losing his ability to teach and remain free if repatriated to China. The psychological consultation yielded an expert report that substantiated not only his present level of emotional disturbance, but outlined the risks of his becoming further incapacitated as the result of returning to very possibly worsened persecution in China. Dr. Rakofsky also guided him to appropriate treatment for his condition with a Mandarin-speaking psychologist in his area.
- A Young Mother Faces Extreme Hardship
A 25-year-old Merrillville, Indiana woman, born in Mexico, had the status of Permanent Resident. Besides caring for her own two young children, she took care of her ailing mother who struggled with hypertension and insulin-dependent diabetes, as well as her brother's two children while he worked at the only good job he could get, in Dayton, Ohio. Her attorney petitioned to allow her husband of two years to remain in the U.S., in spite of his having arrived in the country illegally five years before. Claiming her hardships would be numerous and extraordinary if her husband were sent back to Mexico for ten or more years, the psychological report reflected not only the woman's current struggle with extreme anxiety as described in the DSM-5, but also outlined the ways in which this condition would surely worsen if she were she left alone in the U.S. without the instrumental, emotional, and financial support of her husband.
Expert Services in Criminal and Employment Cases
Dr. Rakofsky is available for psychological assessments of defendants facing various criminal charges. His work can be utilized where competency to stand trial is at issue, in cases where PTSD may be a factor, and in criminal mitigation, sentencing evaluations, and parole hearing evaluations. In the area of employment law, Dr. Rakofsky 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. Rakofsky's Background and Education
Dr. Rakofsky earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the APA-accredited Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, his Master of Arts in Clinical Adult Psychology at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and his Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, with a double major in Psychology and Religion, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Rakofsky is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (CAPP), and Give an Hour (pro bono therapy for returning military personnel and their families). He was a member of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology, and Theta Chi Beta, the National Honor Society of religion scholars. He was a fellow at Chicago's Institute for Psychoanalysis from 2000 to 2001. You can reach Dr. Rakofsky at 312-698-5190.
- Forensic Psychological Evaluations
- Forensic Reports
- Expert Witness Testimony
- Psychological Testing
- Personality Testing
- Neuropsychological Testing
- Comprehensive Record Review
- Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) *
- Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
- Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II)
- Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, Second Edition (Bender-Gestalt II)
- Conners, Third Edition (Conners - 3) *
- Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales-Self-Report (CAARS)
- Conners Continuous Performance Test II (CPT-II)
- Dementia Rating Scale - 2 (DRS-2)
- Incomplete Sentences Blanks
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 (MMPI-2)
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - Adolescent (MMPI-A) *
- Nelson-Denny Reading Test
- A Developmental NEuroPSYchological Assessment (NEPSY)*
- Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)
- Projective Drawings
- Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS)
- Rorschach Inkblot Method
- Symptom Checklist 90-R (SCL-90-R)
- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- Trail Making Test (A and B)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - IV (WAIS-IV)
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - IV (WISC-IV) *
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II (WIAT-II)
- Wechsler Memory Scales IV (WMS-IV)
- Woodcock Johnson IV (WJ-IV) *
* tests for use with children or adolescents.
The Forensic Psychology Group provides nationwide expert service. Contact Dr. Stephen Reich in New York at 212-935-6133 or Dr. David Rakofsky in Chicago at 312-698-5190 to discuss your expert needs and timeline.
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.