Latinos represent our nation's largest and fastest growing ethnic group, yet there remains a striking lack of knowledge regarding the unique mental health needs facing the Latino population.
In response, the Latino Mental Health concentration is intended not only for Spanish speakers or Latino/a students, but is designed to provide formalized training and specific education in the areas of assessment and treatment of Latino/a clients and their families. Strong emphasis is placed on understanding cultural factors that interact with Latino/as' mental health and the integration of that knowledge into clinical work with Latino/as. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop differing levels of Spanish language proficiency, especially in relation to basic and mental health-related language skills.
The main goal of this concentration is to develop the necessary competencies needed for the understanding and provision of culturally responsive care to Latino/as.
The program is distinctive in that students receive a solid foundation in the principles of counseling psychology, in addition to gaining the essential diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative skills to work with the Latino population and to meet their emotional and psychological needs.
Chicago program prepares graduates to sit for professional counselor licensure in Illinois (LPC and LCPC) and other states
• Year 2: 700-hour (minimum) placement experience• Chicago: sites meet Licensed Supervisor standards
Program Time to Completion
Chicago/traditional: two years (six semesters) full time or three to five years part time
Cultural Foundations: The Latino/a Experience
Provides an overview of Latino/as' cultural background, the history of Latinos in the United States, issues related to immigration, and ways in which cultural factors interact with mental health. Participants are engaged in discussions on topics related to culture and identity, including gender, family, class, sexuality, race, age, tradition, values, religion, acculturation and assimilation; and how these are relevant to psychotherapy.
Treatment Issues and Interventions with Latinos/as
Utilizes in-depth discussions of cultural variables influencing health beliefs among Latino/as and the incorporation of customs and beliefs into the provision of culturally responsive psychotherapy. The course focuses on the practice of culturally responsive interventions with Latino/a clients. Additionally, the strategies to overcome cross-cultural dilemmas and clinical impasses with Latino/a clients will be explored and developed.
Immersion Experience: Advanced Seminar
This seminar takes place in a Latin American country where Spanish classes, field work, and everyday experiences become the source for gaining proficiency in the language and culture. Further understanding of family dynamics, traditions, and other cultural experiences are integrated through the weekly seminar.
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