Student-participants in the WJC summer immersion program will participate in a four-week intensive program abroad in coordination with Centro Ecuatoriano and La Fundación Dra. Cynthia Lucero, both located in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The program involves: a) intensive Spanish language instruction, b) volunteer clinical work at various social service and mental health agencies, and c) social and cultural activities organized by Centro Ecuatoriano and La Fundación Dra. Cynthia Lucero. Students will live with host families contracted by El Centro Ecuatoriano for the summer immersion program. The goal of the program is to provide a better understanding of health care systems and of the provision of social services as well as unique cultural dynamics in serving individuals and families in Latino countries. Students will have the opportunity to work side by side with local psychologists at Fundacion VIHDA working with youth and families in the prevention and treatment of HIV ; at the Hospital de Maternidad, working with pregnant and post-partum women living with HIV; at the Hospital Psiquiatrico/Instituto de Neurociencias and el Colegio Mercantil working with youth.
CC560 - LMH Immersion II Seminar
CC563 - LMH Summer Immersion II
This specialized seminar is provided along with the summer immersion program of the Latino Mental Health Program with the primary objective of providing pre-immersion and in-country support to students participating in an LMH immersion. The seminar consists of 2-3 meetings prior to the students departing to their destination. Students are introduced to theories to encourage students to think critically about cross-cultural issues, Ecuadorian history and contextual issues, self-care and specific clinical issues pertaining to the host country. In this course students will learn research-based concepts that intend to increase the likelihood of having a positive and fruitful immersion experience (e.g. affect-based trust, participatory collaboration, intersubjective practice, witnessing, cultural intelligence). In addition, the class meets through Skype or other electronic video communication with the instructor conferencing in small groups at least twice throughout the student's stay in the Latin American country to discuss clinical, social, language and cultural issues arising during the immersion program. If the instructor has scheduled travel to the students' international site, in-country debriefings wiGHaitill also be scheduled. The instructor convenes the group to meet one last time after they have returned to the U.S. to debrief the immersion experience.
- Identify country specific clinical practice issues in mental health.
- Compare and contrast differences in professional regulations, ethics and native clinical practices;
- List at least one cultural practices of the host country that shapes mental health care differently from the U.S.'s culture of care;
- Utilize supervision, consultation and peer supervision as resources for increased efficiency in clinical practice and self-care.
- Identify three approaches to deal with unexpected cultural and clinical situations in which the students' and host country professionals' cultural models may conflict;
- List at least three social and contextual issues of the host country.
Paola Michelle Contreras, PsyD
Mari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD
Director, Latino Mental Health Program