The Dr. Cynthia Lucero Center
Jamie Siegel, Latino Mental Health Student
In many ways, Jamie Siegel's 5-week immersion experience in Costa Rica "primed her" for working with Latina women and children. Living and sharing meals with her host family gave Jamie insight into being part of a Latino family. This experience combined with her practicum work at Entre Familia, a residential substance abuse program for Latina women and children in Mattapan, has shaped Jamie's approach to her client work. "'Latino should not be considered a general term- there are variations within the culture and the language. There's always something new to learn." At Entre Familia, Jamie works with patients from Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic and Cape Verde. She recognizes that each patient has her own story and approaches each session with "curiosity and understanding." Jamie's therapeutic method is to validate and normalize each woman's individual experience. "These women are looking for someone to really listen and try to understand them. They do not want to be judged for what they've done in the past." There are times, Jamie admits, when she worries that her own background, as a Caucasian woman and a student of psychology, may bias her patients from feeling that she can truly help them, but she recognizes this and is always open to the dialogue. Addressing this concern is part of her path toward personal growth and professional development which she has been able to process during her weekly 1:1 supervision sessions with Dr. Quita Mullan.
Jamie is a 2nd year PsyD student in the Latino Mental Health program. As an undergraduate at Ohio University, she double majored in Spanish and psychology. Jamie joined the Latino Mental Health program during her first year at MSPP. She remarked, "It was an amazing opportunity to integrate my two passions." Jamie will continue her work next year with Latino populations as an intern at the South End Community Health Center, where she will deliver mental health services in Spanish. This work will further prepare Jamie to be a confident, culturally competent and linguistically skilled psychologist.