Two Texas A&M International University faculty members and four counseling professionals who earned Master's degrees in Counseling Psychology from A&M International presented a symposium at the First Regional Congress of Psychology for Professionals in the Americas in Mexico City.
The symposium, which was presented on the first day of the Congress, explored the special problems and issues faced by counseling professionals in the border region.
Symposium presenters were A&M International psychology graduates Yolanda Cardenas, Juan Montemayor, Elia Montemayor, and Gabriela Pérez, and Dr. Julio F. Madrigal, professor of psychology and chair of the Department of Psychology at A&M International.
Dr. Todd T. Russell, associate professor of psychology at A&M International, served as the moderator for the symposium.
Information presented by the symposium was based on a 24-page monograph authored by A&M International psychology graduates Eva Domingez, Luis E. Flores, Patricia Galván, Gabriela Pérez, and Bianca Spies.
Dr. Madrigal and Debra K. Russell, Coordinator of the University's Disabled Students Services, were also contributing authors for the monograph. Dr. Russell served as editor.
The monograph, Counseling on the US - Mexico Border: Consejería en la Frontera, explores issues in counselor education and supervision, general counseling, and school, college/university, substance abuse, sex offender, geriatric, and private practice counseling.
According to the monograph, counseling on the border presents unique problems and challenges for the counseling practitioner.
Because most mental issues of the border region are influenced by, associated with, or even exacerbated by, the stressors of a complex bicultural environment, counselors on the border must understand the socio-economic factors of the area and the border dynamic.
To be effective, counselors must develop a keen understanding of traditional Mexican customs, beliefs, practices, and pressures exerted on the border residents to adapt to the North American society.
The counseling professional can help a client to develop a strong bicultural identity by addressing issues of gender, language, and family unity and cohesion.
The A&M International graduates who authored the monograph or presented the symposium are all professional counselors in the Laredo area.
Their positions and employers are as follows: Yolanda Cardenas, counselor, Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN); Eva Dominguez, elementary school counselor, Cotulla; Luis E. Flores, Clinical Director, Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN); Patricia Galvan, therapist, Bright Day Treatment Center; Elia Montemayor, junior high counselor, United Independent School District (UISD); Juan Montemayor, junior high counselor, UISD; and Gabriela Pérez, counselor, Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez Psychological Services.
Bianca Spies is a visiting instructor in the Department of Psychology at Texas A&M International University.
For more information on the symposium or the counseling monograph authored by A&M International graduates, please contact Dr. Russell at 326-2622 or visit his office in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library-Administration Building room 426B West.
University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday