ERIC Number: ED264324
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: N/A
Hispanics and Culturally Sensitive Mental Health Services.
Hispanic Research Center Research Bulletin, v8 n3-4 Jul-Oct 1985
The objective of improving mental health care for Hispanics has been reviewed, most often, as dependent upon the provision of culturally sensitive mental health services. "Cultural sensitivity," however, is an imprecise term, especially when efforts are made to put it into operation when providing mental health services to Hispanic clients. Nonetheless, there are values and choices implicit in all treatment innovations, and this paper attempts to order and define these embedded assumptions. The concept of cultural sensitivity as used by researchers and mental health practitioners working with Hispanics is examined, with a focus on three levels: 1) the process of making existing traditional treatment available to Hispanic clients; 2) the selection of therapies that fit the Hispanic culture, or the modification of the treatment modality selected by incorporating into it Hispanic cultural elements; and 3) the development of new modalities based upon an aspect of the client's own cultural context. An example of this third approach is Cuento Therapy, a treatment that takes as its medium the folktales of Puerto Rican culture. Through the relating of these folktales to Puerto Rican children experiencing psychological distress, cultural values are transmitted, the mother's role as socializing agent is reinforced, and pride in the cultural heritage is inculcated. It is believed that ego strengths weakened through the acculturative process can thus be reinstated and reinforced. (GC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD. Center for Minority Group Mental Health Program.
Authoring Institution: Fordham Univ., Bronx, NY. Hispanic Research Center.