Mental Health in the Hispanic Community

Ana Marcela Rodriguez, MS, LFMT & Diana Beltran, LCSW

Worth 1.5 Cultural Diversity CEUs

Friday, March 3, 2023, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Why is it relevant to learn, understand, and acknowledge the Hispanic community?

The Hispanic or Latinx population in the U.S., which includes people of any race, was 62.1 million in 2020. The Hispanic & Latinx population grew by 23% while the population that was not of Hispanic or Latino origin grew by 4.3% since 2010 (CENSUS, 2020). It’s a given that you will encounter clients who are Hispanic or that have a Hispanic heritage. Knowing the commonality and unique differences of this community is indispensable to being a competent and effective mental health provider.

Learn the influential cultural concepts of this population, understand transgenerational trauma to break cycles that occur within families, best practices, and some culturally-appropriate interventions.

Mental health around the world has been mainly focused on the white population. The trend has been to make a blanket approach including minority groups without considering their own cultural elements. We will expand on the understanding of cultural concepts such as: familiarism, extended family, machismo, religion, and domestic violence that potentially affects the mental health journey and personal functioning of those in the Hispanic community.

Transgenerational trauma is when the experiences of parents affect the development of their children — and sometimes even their grandchildren. Also known as intergenerational trauma, it can show up biologically, socially, mentally, or emotionally. When exploring transgenerational trauma in the Hispanic community we see various types of cycles that impact mental health until one family member eventually breaks the cycle.

Learning best practices and culturally appropriate interventions allow individuals to be more competent in serving the Hispanic community. These interventions vary based on the specific needs of the client. Examples of interventions such as setting healthy boundaries, understanding hierarchy, applying family structure, and exploring patterns are the few interventions that can be applied to aid a client to gain insight and skills that are necessary for their daily functioning.

About the Speakers:

Ana Marcela Rodriguez, MS, LMFT

Ana Marcela was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico where she studied for a degree in Psychology, a specialization in the education and development of children and adolescents at the University of Monterrey. Ana Marcela graduated with honors with the recognition of Summa Cum Laude, being the highest 1% of her generation.

Later, she went to live in the United States where her passion as a therapist, and the desire to continue providing therapy and helping her community led her to study for a Master's in Science of Counseling at SMU. Ana Marcela Graduated with a 4.0 GPA being a minority in her grad school and studying a master's in English which isn't her native language.

Eventually, she obtained her License as a marriage and family therapist in the state of Texas (LMFT). She has special training to work trauma: EMDR, which is recognized worldwide. Today, Ana Marcela has her all-Hispanic and bilingual group practice, Therapy Works Counseling. They tend to the mental health needs of children, teenagers, adults, couples, and families. She also teaches workshops and gives international conferences on diverse topics.

Diana Beltran, LCSW

Diana Beltran is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Arkansas and Texas. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas where her experience has been in working in non-profit agencies providing services for low-income Hispanic communities. Upon receiving her MSW in 2018, she worked for Centers for Youth and Families in Little Rock, Arkansas providing services for Latino families. As she worked at the Centers for Youth and Families, she slowly worked on breaking the barriers of the mental health stigma in the Latino culture by engaging in community outreach at local Catholic churches.

Now, she is the Clinical Director at Therapy Works Counseling where she oversees bilingual clinicians in four offices and provides supervision for master-level interns. She is dedicated to educating, supporting, and collaborating with those as equally as passionate about providing services for the Hispanic community.