What can a Hispanic and Latino therapist help with?
A Hispanic and Latino therapist can assist clients of all races and ethnicities with a variety of mental health conditions and interpersonal problems. Hispanic and Latino clients may find it particularly helpful to work with a therapist who shares a similar background. For some clients, a bilingual therapist can also help prevent misunderstandings and mistranslations that might get in the way of a positive therapeutic experience.
Why might someone seek a Hispanic or Latino therapist or counselor?
Some Hispanic and Latino clients are likely to feel more comfortable starting therapy and feel a stronger connection with a Hispanic and Latino therapist. A Hispanic and Latino therapist will be sensitive to a range of cultural concerns as well as to culturally rooted stigma, and therefore better able to address potential barriers to therapy.
Can therapists be trained for cultural competence?
There are cultural competency programs within mental health training programs, and a therapist might also enroll in diversity and inclusion training on their own. Ask the potential therapist if they have completed such courses, and or if they have had experience working with clients of various cultures and backgrounds. While speaking a language does not necessarily indicate a corresponding familiarity with the cultures that speak the language, it is a factor that one can take into consideration. Therapists will indicate languages in which they are proficient on their directory profile.
How can I inquire about a therapist’s work with Hispanic and Latino individuals?
Successful therapy depends a great deal on the relationship between client and therapist. Start by asking potential therapists what experience they have helping clients who come from a similar background and/or family situation. Ask about the therapist’s educational background and any additional training in cultural sensitivity. Some clients may also appreciate a therapist who is bilingual and is comfortable conversing with the client in both English and Spanish. Languages spoken are indicated on a therapist’s directory profile.