Theses Doctoral

The Experiences of Mental Health Practitioners Working With Undocumented Immigrants from Mexico Along the U.S./Mexico Border

Baranowski, Kim

The largest percentage of new immigrants to the United States is from Mexico (Chomsky, 2007). One half of all immigrants from Mexico living in the United States are undocumented, totaling 5.9 million adults and children (Passel & Cohn, 2009; Passel, Van Hook, & Bean, 2005). There is a significant gap in the psychological literature with regard to recommendations for providing mental health services with undocumented immigrants from Mexico. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the multicultural psychology literature by gathering the clinical experiences of mental health professionals who work with undocumented immigrants from Mexico along the U.S./Mexico border and to define culturally responsive interventions while highlighting potential opportunities for clinicians to engage in socially-just professional practice. The study utilized a qualitative methodology by which first-person narratives were gathered via interviews with 12 social workers, psychologists, and counselors who work with undocumented immigrant clients in the border states of New Mexico and Texas. The resulting interview transcripts were analyzed using a consensual qualitative research (CQR) approach (Hill, Knox, Thompson, Williams, Hess, & Ladany, 2005). The results of the study were distilled into promising practices for service provision highlighting the role of feminist multicultural counseling psychology in the development of cultural competency, expansion of professional roles, provision of culturally- and linguistically-appropriate treatment, and encouragement of clinician self-care.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Smith, Laura
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 19, 2014