COUNSELING IMMIGRANT POPULATIONS: RESEARCH, PRACTICE, AND ADVOCACY
University of North Texas (UNITED STATES)
Europe and Asia combined host nearly two-thirds of all international migrants worldwide (United Nations Department of Economic Affairs, 2013). A steady flow of diverse populations shapes an evolving demographic global landscape. The South to North migration has been steady since the early 20th century, and since 1990 has increased by 65%. In the 1990s immigration increased by 57% in the U.S. and in the past decade the U.S. witnessed a 21% increase. In recent years, political and social attitudes have contributed to the challenges and experiences of immigrant groups that have added to social, political, and economic problems which in turn have led to growing discrimination, violence, and mental health concerns. To date, there is a growing body of literature that focuses on the mental health needs of immigrant populations (e.g., Chuang & Uwe, 2009; Orloff & Little, 1999; Sue & Sue, 2003; Yakushko & Chronister, 2005; Yeh, 2003; Yeh et al., 2008), clinical interventions (e.g., Suh & Lee, 2006; Villalba, Ivers, & Ohlms, 2010), and client advocacy (Chung, Bemak, Ortiz, & Sandoval-Perez, 2008). It is important that educators of the social and human sciences team with mental health professionals to expand their knowledge and skills regarding how to promote the mental health of immigrant populations (Chung, Bemak, Ortiz, & Sandoval-Perez, 2008). The purpose of this presentation is to examine the unique challenges that immigrants face, and examine the ways in which professional and privileged educators can serve the needs of this diverse and growing population through research, clinical practice, and social advocacy.
This presentation will begin with an overview of the literature regarding the challenges experienced by diverse immigrant populations. Attendees will receive a plethora of information including the lived experience of immigrants and therapeutic intervention strategies for working with diverse immigrant groups. Discussion will focus on the refugee immigrant experience, LGBT transnational issues, women’s issues surrounding domestic and wartime violence (Orloff & Little, 1999), and immigrant children and adolescents. Relevant areas for future research and strategies and techniques will be presented with a foundation in the constructs of social justice and advocacy. Evidence-based practices will be presented and discussed in terms of their cultural appropriateness and effectiveness.
At the completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:
(1) increase their knowledge about the challenges immigrants face globally and specifically Europe and Asia
(2) increase their knowledge about the diversity which exists in immigrant populations
(3) identify strategies for working with immigrant families, LGBT immigrant populations, and immigrant children and adolescents
(4) learn social justice strategies for advocating for immigrant populations
(5) increase their knowledge regarding challenges many immigrant women experience around domestic and wartime violence
(6) increase their knowledge regarding how to advocate for increased mental health opportunities with immigrant clients
This presentation is consistent with an educator’s commitment to honoring and appreciating cultural diversity and the accurate representation of current research and clinical experience. The underlying construct of this presentation is that of being inclusive and culturally competent regarding these underserved communities living around the world.