Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study was undertaken to explore the opinions, knowledge, and experiences of clinicians treating a Latino client who utilizes folk healing practices in conjunction to psychotherapeutic treatment. This study paid particular attention to how the concurrent utilization of healing practices effect the therapeutic process. The study intended to deepen and expand upon existing literature on the need to integrate traditional folk healing approaches into mainstream sychotherapeutic modalities by offering a closer look at how the clinicians, who are working with Latino populations, interpret the use of indigenous healing beliefs and practices. A number of questions were posed inviting clinicians to think about folk healing approaches as having their own wisdom and effectiveness, and how blending these elements into mainstream modalities could potentially create a more meaningful and culturally congruent treatment. One of its objectives is for the participants, other clinicians, and readers of this thesis to recognize that as the Latino population continues to grow, it is important that the values, practices, experiences, history, and beliefs of this group inform our clinical practice wisdom. This project provides a rare opportunity to read the stories, views, and thoughts of those who the field entrusts to practice within the Latino population. The findings of this research study suggests that among those who are currently providing treatment to the Latino population, the dilemma of introducing cultural, racial, and spiritual diversity into therapy, although a necessary task, continues to be extremely difficult, and are not being prioritized by professionals in the field. Furthermore, this project reveals the real practices of real clinicians and this provides the opportunity to understand the need to improve services and expand research to better serve the Latino population.


Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass, 2008. iv, 110 p. Includes bibliographical references (p. 92-96)