Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP)

Bienvenidos y gracias por su interés en proporcionar servicios a la población latina en nuestro país.

Watch Video: Between Two Worlds
Click on the image above to see the New American Reality: Speak the Hispanic Culture.

Students in the Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP) will complete the core curriculum for training in their degree program. In addition, they will demonstrate, or master, Spanish fluency and Latino cultural knowledge to work as competent clinicians with this diverse population. Specialty training will emphasize an awareness of the social similarities and differences among Latino groups, and an understanding of the social context of Latinos in modern American society. Graduates of the program will acquire greater sensitivity, not just to the role of culture, but also, of economics and other social factors in the developmental, emotional, relational and behavioral aspects pertinent to the mental health of Latinos.

For students of Hispanic/Latino descent, regardless of their level of Spanish fluency, the program will foster self-awareness of the influence of their own cultural beliefs and values in their clinical work with Latino patients/clients. It will also promote a deep appreciation of the rich diversity and idiosyncrasies among the Latino culture and how these impact on clinical work. For Latino students with limited Spanish fluency the program will offer an opportunity to enhance their linguistic competence.

Latino Mental Health Students 2012

Academic Concentrations

The Latino Mental Health Program is offered as a concentration in the following academic programs:

Program Overview

The Latino Mental Health Program aims to increase the number of Latino mental health service providers in the United States by providing specialized master’s and doctoral level training in clinical, counseling, and school psychology. The program provides mental health professionals (both Latino and non-Latino) with the language skills, cultural sensitivity, and clinical competence that will enable them to deliver high-quality care to Latino populations. By training mental health leaders who can create, direct, and deliver high-quality services, the program hopes to aid in eliminating societal disparities that exist in relation to access and quality of mental health care.

The concentration focuses on teaching cultural competence through didactics and practice that give students the opportunity to learn about cultural and sociopolitical differences amongst Latin countries, the impact of immigration and acculturation, and other contextual factors that impact the health and access to care of Latinos in the United States.  Students participate in a four-week immersion trip to Ecuador where they stay with local families and work with local psychologists in different rotations. Students also engage in clinical work with individuals of Latino backgrounds through their field placement experiences at WJC. Opportunities for local immersion experiences are available for students who cannot travel internationally to fulfill the concentration requirements.    

All courses are offered every other Wednesday evening from 6:40 pm to 8:30 pm. The summer immersion group travels from third week in July to third week in August.

All Doctoral level students in the clinical psychology and school psychology programs can use electives to fulfill LMHP requirements. Masters level students in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and School Psychology MA/ CAGS who are enrolled in LMHP, will graduate with extra credits.

Enrollment Process

The Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP) concentration is open to William James College students with a strong interest in providing culturally sensitive services to Hispanic individuals, families and communities. Applicants should have a beginning/ intermediate level of Spanish language fluency in order to apply. The LMHP routinely admits both students who have a Latino ethnic background as well as those who do not. The LMHP concentration is offered at two levels: Major Area of Study and Area of Emphasis (see coursework for details). Students are welcome to enroll in two concentrations (e.g. CFAR and LMHP; Neuropsychology and LMHP; Forensic and LMHP; Health and LMHP).  

To apply and enroll, students should download and complete the Concentration Application Form (.docx) and send to the LMHP director Dr. Mari Carmen Bennasar at Once accepted, students must fill out and submit a Concentration Declaration Form from the Registrar’s Office webpage before registering for spring semester. The Concentration Declaration Form must first be reviewed by the student’s advisor and signed by the concentration director. Students typically apply in the fall semester of their first year and begin courses during the second semester of their first year.


For Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA, and School Psychology MA/CAGS students

Major Area of Study (5 credits)
Required Courses*
CLI CC549 - The Hispanic/Latino Experience (Introduction Latino Culture) (credits: 1)
CLI CC563 - LMH Summer Immersion (credits: 0)**
CLI CC560 - LMH Immersion Seminar (credits: 1)
CLI AC600 - Mental Health Disparities: Multicultural & Global Perspectives (credits: 2)
CLI CC551 - Clinical Work with Latinos I (Clinical Work with Latinos in the United States) (credits: 1)

Area of Emphasis (3 credits)
CLI CC549 - The Hispanic/Latino Experience (Introduction Latino Culture) (credits: 1) (required)
CLI CC563 - LMH Summer Immersion (credits: 0)**
CLI CC560 - LMH Immersion Seminar (credits: 1)
CLI CC551 - Clinical Work with Latinos I (Clinical Work with Latinos in the United States) (credits: 1)

**CC549 and CC560 are required for CC563 Summer Immersion.

Recommended Sequence

While the following sequence of courses is recommended, students are encouraged to meet with their advisor and concentration director to discuss their own academic plan.

Year One: Fall Semester
  • Apply to the program
  • Complete and submit a Concentration Declaration Form
  • Submission of the Concentration Declaration Form in the Fall guarantees financial aid for all credits
Year One: Spring Semester Year One: Summer Sessions I and II

Students will go to Guayaquil, Ecuador for four weeks to live with host families, participate in Spanish classes, and engage in volunteer activities at various mental health facilities. The summer immersion group travels from the third week in July to the third week in August. A local immersion option is also available for students unable to complete an international program.

Year Two: Fall Semester Year Two: Spring Semester

Years Three or Four: Fall Semester

Years Three or Four: Spring Semester

Field Placements
  • A minimum of 25% of direct services with Latino/Hispanic populations by date of graduation (cumulative)

Doctoral Project

  • Students need to complete a Doctoral Project in a topic of interest in Latino/Hispanic population.
Field Placement

Students enrolled in the LMHP concentration need to complete a minimum of 25% of direct clinical experience with Latino/Hispanic populations by the date of their graduation or prior to Year 5/APA internship.

Doctoral Project

Doctoral level students enrolled in the LMHP concentration will be required to complete a doctoral project with a focus on the Latino/Hispanic population. It is recommended that at least one of their doctoral project committee members be faculty of the Multicultural and Global Mental Health Center or a professional with substantial experience or expertise in the field.

Additional Requirements

To support student’s professional growth and development, LMHP concentration students must attend at least one Continuing Education (CE) event annually that is sponsored or approved by the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health. A variety of activities (e.g., conferences, lectures, film series, social and cultural events) throughout the year are also organized by the Center for Multicultural & Global Mental Health. Students are encouraged to attend to gain exposure to various aspects of the Latino culture.

Mari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD
Paola Michelle Contreras, PsyD
Nilda M. Laboy, PsyD
Daisy Rivera, PsyD, LMHC
Maria Veronica Zapater-Raberov, PsyD
Cynthia Lucero Scholarship

Each year, we award one Cynthia Lucero Scholarship to a deserving student who exhibit a strong dedication and commitment to the delivery of human services to the Latino community. The award is $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years. The Lucero Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP) owes its inspiration to the work of the late Cynthia Lucero, PsyD, a William James College graduate whose career, in part, was devoted to addressing the needs of Spanish-speaking people.

Click here to learn more about the Scholarship.
Click here to learn more about our current Lucero Scholars.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Take a deep dive with us into the history of Hispanic Heritage month and learn facts about Hispanic and Latinx populations and representation in the psychology and mental health field. Students, alums and faculty from the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program narrate the video in both English and Spanish.

In the News

Overcoming Cultural Stigmas About Mental Illness And Barriers To Treatment
May 5, 2014

For millions of Americans battling mental illness, the search for proper care can be long and frustrating. But for those in some ethnic communities, deep-rooted cultural stigmas and language barriers combine to make the obstacles to treatment even more formidable. In this week's FOCUS report, we look at the stigma surrounding mental illness in the Latino community and what's being done to improve access to care.

Click here to see the video

Boston Globe | Education & Careers
A Psychology Degree Can Take You Places
January 2014

Herlinda Tin chose a psychology career following a devastating incident in high school. "One of my friends was assaulted, and I was the first person she approached after that. I had no idea what to do. i felt helpless," recalled Tin, a native of Guatemala who grew up in San Francisco. "I went to counseling with her and saw how it helped her."

Click here to read the full article (pdf)

Hispanic Business
Jimenez Receives Honorary Doctorate
Staff Reports | June 5, 2013

MicroTech president and CEO Tony Jimenez received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from William James College’s Sunday at the school's graduation ceremony.

Click here to read more

90.9 WBUR/NPR Radio
Talk of the Nation: Providing Therapy Across Different Cultures
by Neil Conan | February 15, 2012

Stacey Lambert, Director of Diversity Education and Inclusion; Director, Latino Mental Health Program; Associate Director, Clinical Psychology Department, recently interviewed by WBUR/NPR on the topic "Providing Therapy Across Different Cultures."

Listen here

The Boston Globe - Help needed
In this country, Latino psychologists are few and far between. A new program in West Roxbury aims to change that.
by Vanessa E. Jones, Globe Staff | July 5, 2006

The lack of Latino psychologists in this country is affecting Hortensia Amaro. Article Tools

In addition to being a distinguished professor of health sciences at Northeastern's Bouve College of Health Sciences, Amaro founded the Mom's Project , an outpatient drug addiction program for pregnant women in Mattapan, about 16 years ago. Then 11 years ago she created Entre Familia , a residential drug treatment program in Mattapan for Latinas and their children.

Read more

Guatemala Immersion

Photo from Guatemala Summer Immersion

Meet Our Lucero Scholars

Lucero Scholars