Thesis

Exploring the perspectives of Spanish-speaking Hispanics in regards to what helped them seek and complete their mental health services

The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory study was to gain more insight into the experiences of Spanish-speaking Hispanics who managed to successfully seek and complete their mental health services. Data were retrieved from six Spanish-speaking Hispanics who had received and completed mental health services in an outpatient setting. Data were collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews. Participants expressed that becoming informed of where to go to seek services played a huge role in their ability to successfully seek counseling services. In regards to successfully completing their mental health services, participants identified having a trusting therapeutic relationship with their counselor and being able to notice some type of progress, as key factors. Participants described barriers, such as the lack of bilingual counselors affecting their ability to receive services in a timely manner. Participants also suggested for mental health providers to focus on building rapport and creating a conducive learning environment to effectively engage the Spanish-speaking Hispanic community in counseling services. A lot of the responses from the participants indicated their socialization into the dominant model of mental health services, Freire (2000) described a learning environment that consist of little to no collaboration as prescriptive and oppressive. Researchers may want to explore this finding more, perhaps using a grounded theory approach.

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