Promoting the Mental Health of Immigrants

Essay by mambueUniversity, Master'sA-, October 2008

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

AbstractThe latest statistics show that immigration in the United States is rapidly increasing and that 1 out of every 10 people comes from an immigrant or refugee background.

This article describes the current situation of immigrants, their challenges, ways of adaptation, and adjustment. It investigates the different scenarios and outcomes affecting legal and undocumented immigrants. Language barriers and cultural differences contribute to the loss of community identity e social support. The counselor’s role becomes very important and serious consideration is given to the ethical and moral aspect of the relationship.

Promoting the Mental Health of Immigrants 3The authors describe the current situation in the United States involving immigration, the type of immigrants, and their characteristics. A particular attention is given to the legal and to the undocumented immigrants. The two very distinct types of immigrants often tend to face dissimilar challenges due to their particular social status. The up to date statistics also give the reader a precise idea about the socio-economic condition in the United States and the current situation concerning immigration.

The article examines external variables such as racism, discrimination, and prejudice that often affect this type of population. Counselors should be culturally competent and should take in consideration these variables and how these variables can psychologically affect immigrants. Therapists should take in consideration that immigrants often deal with sociopolitical and multidimensional dynamics that require flexibility, preparation, and sense of adaptation. They should avoid common mistakes such as feeling too sympathetic or not being critical enough. Playing the “nice counselor” in order to avoid conflicts is something that therapists should avoid when dealing with immigrants. An effective and innovative approach to better deal with this type of population, involves multicultural counseling competencies. The “MLM” method involves a variety of roles that the counselor should implement. It also consists...