PsyD Student Profile:
Mónica Escamilla, MS
Spanish is my first language and along with many immigrants I struggled with the translation of not just language but of cultural practices. As my life developed in this new country I made efforts to hold on to my Hispanic roots while learning to navigate the majority culture with its unique beliefs, practices, food, celebrations, and idioms of the new language. During my graduate studies I was drawn to Our Lady of the Lake due to its unique focus on addressing the needs of Spanish–speaking populations. I was excited about the opportunity to learn how to address the needs of this population within their worldview and not impose on them the further stress of being misunderstood.
The training I received was essential in my growth as a therapist. While I was aware of my cultural practices and values and spoke the language I had been missing key pieces. I gained a professional vocabulary that allowed me to appropriately communicate theory and assessment terms with other professionals and clients. Further I learned about choosing appropriate psychological assessment measures, modifying the structure of sessions, paying attention to unique family dynamics, and the incorporation of cuentos, refranes, and dichos in therapy sessions.
I now take great pleasure in sharing what I have learned with the students I supervise at the clinic and when speaking at workshops and seminars. The Spanish-speaking population is quickly growing in the U.S. Understanding the unique challenges they face and learning how to use the distinctive array of coping mechanism and resources they possess can only enrich our work.
Our Lady of the Lake University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Our Lady of the Lake University that fall under one of these areas: (1) to learn about the accreditation status of the institution, (2) to file a third-party comment at the time of the institution’s decennial review, or (3) to file a complaint against the institution for alleged non-compliance with a standard or requirement.