humanity and want to help underserved and often marginalized
populations, and I deeply enjoy relating to these students on a
Platt is one of a small cadre of Spanish-speaking
psychologists who are pioneering programs to train mental
health practitioners to meet the rapidly increasing demand for
their services in the United States. According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, the Hispanic population in this country as of July,
2013 was 54 million, or 17 percent of the nation’s population.
The Unites States has the second highest Hispanic and Latino
population in the world second only to Mexico. By 2050,
Hispanics and Latinos will make up 28 percent of the nation’s
Unfortunately, too few U.S.
psychologists have the training
to provide mental health services
to this population. “The APA’s
ethical principles mandate
that psychologists provide
assessment and therapy in the
client’s native language, but
there are few programs that
provide the training to be able
to do that,” says Brieanne Kohrt,
PhD, founder of a Spanish
psychology immersion program
in Peru, called PASEO, that
trains American psychologists.
“There are a lot of people who
study Spanish, but that does not
mean you know the culture or
the psychological terminology.
These are critical aspects of
A case for change