Multicultural Counseling: Perspectives from Counselors as Clients of Color

By Aretha Faye Marbley | Go to book overview

5
The Hispanic/Latino Client’s Story

This chapter provides an overview of the research on Hispanic/Latino clients’ experiences in mental health. Next there is a discussion of the Hispanic/ Latino study participants’ experiences as they relate to the chapter theme. Using the Hispanic/Latino participants’ experiences as a center, the chapter also highlights the intragroup differences existing among Hispanics/Latinos and provides discussion of counseling relationships that Latinos deemed successful and unsuccessful from the personal and professional experiences of the Hispanic/ Latinos participants and bias, culture, and credibility factors addressed in Chapters 1 and 2 directly related to Hispanic/Latinos. The chapter concludes with implications and recommendations for counseling and psychotherapy with Latinos.


THE HISPANIC CLIENT’S EXPERIENCE

Well, I was very fortunate because of where I was, working in San Diego in Southern California. So, just the
sheer numbers, the exposure. I worked in a clinic in an agency that was part of a health center that was just
on the other side of the border. And every person in that agency was bicultural or bilingual, except for their
director. They were all Spanish, they were all bilingual in Spanish and English. And they were from all different,
mostly from [Mexico], but they were people from different Latin American countries. At one point, we had
an African American counselor. We also had someone who was Filipino. The Filipino was a psychologist and
more in an administrative position. The only group that was not represented was Native Americans. But the
dominant representation was Hispanic. The clients were about the same.

Angelica


Hispanics Changing the Face of America

Living in California, I had a lot of friends and I work with a lot of people who are Mexican American. And I
was different, really, from [them], even though I was Hispanic and spoke Spanish, very different from my own
orientation and native culture. And I have friends, good friends, and my very best friend is Mexican American.
I feel a real close tie, I’d say it’s almost like my second, sort of adopted culture. I feel comfortable with that
culture, very comfortable. That may be the reason I made so many friends that are Mexican Americans and
from the Mexican background. I like their foods and like a lot of things about Mexico. I am interested in their

-63-

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