The Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Training Programs (MHTP) are thrilled to highlight the accomplishments of Maritza Duran, MSW, Ph.D., (she/her/ella) and Marjory Vazquez, Ph.D. (she/her) who each contributed to separate chapters in the new book: Latinx Mental Health: From Surviving to Thriving.
Dr. Duran is a postdoctoral resident on the crisis team at Kaiser Permanente in Richmond, where she is also part of La Clinica in Richmond and the PTSD track. She works primarily with monolingual Spanish speaking patients, and facilitates El Grupo de Animo, Wise Mind Skills, and IOP in Spanish. Dr. Duran was a first author of Chapter 4 of Latinx Mental Health, entitled “Creando un Mundo Nuevo (Creating a New World): Campesinos in the United States.” This chapter was heavily shaped by her experiences growing up in McFarland, a farm working community in California’s Central Valley. Dr. Duran’s family has been engaged in farm work for generations in Zacatecas, Mexico, and in the United States. Her mother and mother’s family were migrant farm workers, and Dr. Duran has many family members continuing to practice farm work today in the Central Valley. Growing up in McFarland heavily impacted Dr. Duran’s research interests and desire to work with monolingual Spanish speaking folks.
She is excited about this book’s potential to shift the treatment and outlook of working with Latinx folks in the United States. The book focuses on the resiliency of the Latinx community and strength-based work, which Dr. Duran strives to emphasize in sessions with her patients. In her free time, Dr. Duran enjoys yoga, hiking, walking, and spending time with friends and family.
Dr. Vasquez is a clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente, Richmond and is involved in the bilingual and bicultural services tracks as well as the crisis response team. She is also an individual supervisor for a postdoctoral resident. Dr. Vasquez co-authored the chapter “Rompiendo Cadenas: Breaking Down Intergenerational Trauma in the Latinx Community.” The publication focuses on the personal lived experiences of four first-generation Latinxs and the experiences that they bear witness to as mental health practitioners. The chapter provides a critical lens on the decolonization of intergenerational trauma (IGT) in the Latinx community. The authors explore the systemic, cultural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal bidirectional impact that these areas have on the well-being of Latinxs and highlight the inherent resistance and resilience skills that Latinxs have to survive and thrive from trauma. Dr. Vasquez provides examples of how intergenerational trauma comes up with her Latinx clients within and outside of Kaiser and what modalities (such as EMDR amongst others), can be used to address IGT.
Dr. Vasquez is excited that this publication provides skills for people reading the book to begin addressing their own intergenerational trauma. When writing the book, the authors were very conscious of making sure the chapter was accessible to people outside of academia and wanted it to feel relatable, with tangible takeaways for readers. She is proud of the widespread appeal and applicability of the chapter. As a supervisor, Dr. Vasquez discusses these topics regularly with trainees as well. Specifically, she talks about how IGT can be passed down through imposter syndrome and perfectionism, two topics that often emerge in supervision!
In her free time, Dr. Vasquez enjoys dancing, eating, traveling, exploring new places, and sometimes just binge-watching TV! She also loves engaging in self-care practices such as getting massages, deprivation tanks, and indulging with sweets.
If you would like to check out the chapters that Dr. Duran and Dr. Vasquez contributed to, you can purchase Latinx Mental Health: From Surviving to Thriving at this link: https://www.igi-global.com/book/latinx-mental-health/292578. An additional bonus: all proceeds from the book go to an amazing program called U-Lead! This organization in Athens, Georgia helps undocumented students and students from mixed status families apply to college and navigate the U.S. education system, supports DACA renewals, and provides other necessary resources to undocumented families and students.
On behalf of the MHTP community, congratulations Dr. Duran and Dr. Vasquez!
Contributed by Micaela Birt, Psy.D.