Counseling in the Latino Culture
Counseling members of the Latino culture who reside in the United States comes with many challenges, as family structure, economic, and social factors influence an individual’s ability to cope with his new surroundings. In the case study of Mario, an examination of his US residency and the motivational role his family played in his relocation is crucial in determining his mental state and understanding of support. Latino men are generally hesitant to seek counseling and admit weakness, and the mandate of the court for treatment may even create more resistance in the case of Mario. While treatment goals would include a complete abstinence from addictive substances, deeper success would come with a realization of his coping mechanisms and the environment factors triggering their defenses. Measures success will be found in the increased ability for Mario to self-disclose during treatment, cooperating in native-language journaling, and attendance and voluntary participation in addiction oriented group counseling.
When first meeting with Mario, I would like to understand more about who he is. Since we may not have complete file on his demographics, I would like to know his age, marital status, original residence, if he has children, and current employment situation. I would like to know about his journey to get into the United States, as well as the decision making that went into the process. Considering that he has left his family behind, I would like to know who he is staying with or his current living conditions. Since the ties among family are highly valued in the Hispanic culture, determining whose choice it was for Mario to enter the United States illegally would assist in understanding his emotional state and stability. As mentioned by Torres & Zayas (2009), “Latino men are intensely devoted to their families, take great pride in their ability to provide for and protect their wives and children, and