Date of Conferral







Rolande Murray


AbstractThe need for culturally competent mental health providers and the Mexican American immigrant population in the United States are growing. This study focused on themes from therapists’ narratives that may help to comprehend the intricacy of difficulties facing Mexican American children living with substance-abusing parents. The firsthand knowledge and experiences of the therapists who have worked with this population provided a basic understanding of what to expect and which therapeutic interventions may work best for both the child and their parents. The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to qualitatively identify therapists’ lived experiences and understand how they interacted with their Mexican American patients. The theoretical framework was the Multilevel Model (MLM) which incorporated cultural, sociopolitical, historical, and help-seeking behavior understanding of immigrant clients, as well as the impact of pre and post migration experiences. Six distinct themes in the therapeutic process were revealed from telephone interviews completed with five therapists in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. Narrative data analysis, written notes and audio recordings were analyzed for historical, social, and cultural contexts. The results identified competencies that therapists view as important when working with the target population including being culturally competent, using modalities such as cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) or psychoeducation, and being aware of barriers to treatment that can arise from parents and their children. The results of this study has the potential to benefit therapists working with Mexican American children whose caregivers are dealing with substance abuse issues leading to positive social change.