1st Edition

Latina Psychologists Thriving in the Cultural Borderlands

Edited By Lillian Comas-Diaz, Carmen Inoa Vazquez Copyright 2018
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this book, twelve eminent Latina Psychologists illustrate how they practice gender- and culture-sensitive psychotherapy, counseling, research, pedagogy, social justice, and mentoring. They share how they create their own path in the midst of oppression – by becoming aware of the connection between their lives and their gendered, cultural, social, and political circumstances – and how they liberate themselves and those who seek their psychological services. Based on lived experiences, they reveal how they integrate a borderlands theory, a testimonio method, and an embodiment analysis into a Latina Feminist Psychology. More importantly, these Latina Psychologists offer easy-to-follow advice to help readers thrive while living in the cultural borderlands.

    Part I: Introduction Latina Feminist Psychology: Testimonio, Borderlands Theory, and Embodied Psychology Comas-Díaz and Vazquez Part II: Psychotherapy 1. Living and Working in Cultural Borderlands Falicov 2. Uprooted and Transplanted: The Trajectory and Development of a Latina Psychologist Vazquez 3. Connecting with Spirit in the Cultural Borderlands Comas-Díaz Part III: Scholarship/Research 4. Staying Woke at the Intersections Rodríguez 5. Head over Heart Amaro 6. Living in Multiple Worlds as a Latina Psychologist Alegría Part IV: Social Justice 7. A Journey to and Within the Borderlands: Courage, Sustenance, and Transformation Hernandez-Wolfe 8. Weaving Identities and Theoretical Perspectives of Cultural Competency in Nepantla Castañeda-Sound 9. Transforming Development through Just Communities: A Lifelong Journey of Inquiry Shapiro Part V: Mentorship and Leadership 10. Maps of Memory Espín 11. Entre Fronteras: Thriving with Optimism, Purpose and Connectivity Arredondo 12. Gracias a la Vida! The Empowering Journey of a Latina Psychologist Vasquez Part VI: Conclusion: Contributions to a Latina Feminist Psychology Vazquez and Comas-Díaz



    Lillian Comas-Díaz, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Washington, DC, and a clinical professor at the George Washington University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The author of over 150 publications, her scholarly work focuses on multiculturalism, women of color, ethnic minority mental health, psychotherapy process, social justice, and psychospirituality.

    Carmen Inoa Vazquez, PhD, ABPP, is a practicing clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City and a visiting scholar/clinical psychology supervisor at Columbia University Teachers College. She has published several books, book chapters, and articles, and has made numerous presentations in the areas of gender, cross-cultural mental health, and training. She is a noted authority on Latin American mental health, particularly focusing on women and bicultural life styles.

    "Latina Psychologists will serve as inspiration for generations of aspiring Latina students. The depth of disclosure and recognition of the many layered challenges that face Latina aspirants will serve as a map for succeeding. My son, Lin-Manuel Miranda, recognized the complexity of his contrasting environments early on and was code switching at five as he travelled from an immigrant enclave in Upper Manhattan to attend the elite gifted public school on the Upper East Side. He spent summers in Puerto Rico. His recognition of apartness, intersectional conflicts and being dislocated led to a creative process that led to his creative achievements. Similarly, the psychologists who shared the complexities of their professional journeys used their adversities for personal and professional growth and the extraordinary contributions to the community and field."

    Luz Towns-Miranda, PhD, NYS Psychology board member, Planned Parenthood Action Fund board member

    "Latina Psychologists is a stirring journey into the pain, poverty, joy, and successful experience of powerful Latina psychologists as they journey ‘between and betwixt’ cultural borders.  I sat with this book for hours as I experienced the sorrows and joys of each woman.  And in the end, more than anything, I felt joy and triumph. You will, too."

    Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, ABPP, President-Elect, American Psychological Association, counseling

    "Many Latinas in the U.S. feel overwhelmed and confused by constant questioning of our identity. For many of us, our bifurcated, walled up, and bordered selves are constantly fighting against our cultural roots as Latinas. It can be exhausting. In this book, Carmen and Lillian help us to understand the power we have within ourselves to navigate this internal struggle. They allow us to see that this conflict is not just in our minds and that there exists a transformative pedagogy through which we may find liberation."

    Maria Hinojosa, journalist, host of NPR's Latino USA, and president of Futuro Media Group

    "Latina Psychologists examines how their lives connect with their scholarship and practice. A colleague once derisively called this connection ‘me-search.’ But, this book clearly shows how this connection gives their work strength, resonance, and vibrancy. It is a must read, not only for Latinas or others from ‘minoritized’ backgrounds, but also for those who have not had to confront how their history and identity affects their scholarship and practice."

    Ana Mari Cauce, Professor of Psychology and American Ethnic Studies, President, University of Washington

    "Women’s voices about their lived experiences are seldom documented. But, when they are, as in this book, they serve as a rich source of knowledge and have unique perspectives to bring us. This anthology is a special and important resource that brings new insights for those who want to be inclusive of all aspects of psychology and its ramifications."

    Bonnie R. Strickland, PhD, ABPP, Former President of the American Psychological Association