Meet the Authors: ¿Quiénes Somos y de Dónde Venimos? A Book on Historical Contexts among Latinx Communities to Inform Mental Health Services

12:00pm - September 30, 2022 | Timezone: US/Atlantic
National Hispanic and Latino MHTTC
Registration Deadline: September 30, 2022

Supporting mental health providers, researchers, and educators in their understanding of how history, policies, migration, and trauma shape the lived experience of the Latinx community is critical to capitalize on Latinx’s existing sources of strengths and resources. The intent of the present book, ¿Quiénes Somos y de Dónde Venimos? A Historical Context for Working with Latinx Individuals is to serve as a resource for mental health providers, researchers, and educators working with the Latinx communities. The book discusses the unique and specific experiences of Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, and Honduran communities before and in the United States. Specifically, the book examines how oppression, the history of colonialization, and current sociopolitical and sociocultural factors affect the mental health of Latinxs in the United States. Through this conversation with the authors, the audience will:


  • Identify possible use of the book for research, clinical practice, and educational purposes.
  • Recognize the role and importance of historical context to better understand and inform mental health treatment within Latinx immigrant communities
  • Address how various forms of oppression may influence mental health among Latinx immigrant groups in the US.


Book cover FINAL

Who should attend? This webinar is designed for clinicians who work with Latinx populations with mental health needs and are interested in learning about the vulnerabilities and uniqueness of these populations.

About the speakers:

Oscar Rojas Pérez, PhDDr. Rojas Perez is an associate research scientist at Yale University School of Medicine. He received his doctorate from the counseling psychology program at the University of Missouri. He completed his pre-doctoral internship at La Clínica Hispana in the Yale Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology. Broadly, his professional contributions focus on developing and cultural/linguistic adaptation of measures and interventions, Latinx immigrant well-being and trauma, multicultural responsive training, and public policy advocacy. Clinically, he is licensed and has extensive experience providing evidence-based interventions (e.g., Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Prolonged Exposure Therapy) to a diverse client population (e.g., undocumented immigrants, refugee/asylum seekers, monolingual Spanish-speaker, etc.) in a variety of settings. Dr. Rojas Perez currently serves as the Senior Policy Advisor for the National Latinx Psychological Association.


Nancy Herrera, PhD is a UTHealth Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. As a bilingual psychologist, supporting the mental health of historically minoritized communities is her personal and professional passion. Her main areas of clinical practice and research center around Latinx wellness, healing post-trauma, and culturally centered clinical practices. Dr. Herrera utilizes intersectional, decolonial, and liberation psychology approaches to support holistic healing from interpersonal trauma. As a woman of Mexican descent, her clinical and scholarly work is her means of advocacy, resistance, and countering historical and deficit narratives used to further oppressed Chicanx/Latinx communities.


David G. Zelaya, PhD (he/him/él) is an Assistant Professor (Research) at Brown University School of Public Health (SPH) within the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS), Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and a research fellow at Harvard Medical School within the Department of Psychiatry. His research program examines health disparities, from an intersectionality and minority stress lens, among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and sexual and gender minority communities and links to HIV risk, mental health, and substance use. Clinically, he is interested in providing culturally competent behavioral health services to historically underserved communities (e.g., Spanish-speaking Latinx people; sexual and gender diverse people). Dr. Zelaya received his Ph.D. from Georgia State University in counseling psychology, he was a psychology resident at Harvard Medical School's Cambridge Hospital (part of the Latinx Mental Health Program, the Gender and Sexuality Clinic, and the Psychiatric Emergency Service). He completed his fellowship within the Alcohol Research Center on HIV (ARCH) and CAAS at Brown SPH.