Recent Posts

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year!

Posted on December 31,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Les deseo un feliz año nuevo a todos los lectores del blog de MSPP. ¡Lo mejor para el 2011!

I wish all the readers of MSPP blog a happy new year! My best wishes for 2011!

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Application Process Memories

Posted on December 22,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

I'm home. Winter vacations have just started and I feel deeply blessed of being home, near the ocean, enjoying the perfect caribbean weather at Cancun. I got to see practically my WHOLE family last Saturday: 52 people from all over the world gathered at my mom's living room eating "Mexican" Christmas food: turkey, "bacalao" (codfish) and "romeritos" (some kind of herb in mole and shrimp cakes). During this wonderful celebration, I realized that I haven't seen most of these beloved people for at least 1.5 years at my cousin's wedding two days before embarking towards our new life at Boston and therefore, at MSPP.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Applying to MSPP

Cynthia Lucero's Mom Interview Part I and II - English Version

Posted on December 11,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

These entry was originally posted in Spanish in two parts.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Social Responsibility, Latino Mental Health

Cynthia Lucero's Mom Interview Part II

Posted on December 05,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Continuando la entrevista de la madre de Cynthia, Marta me comentó que cuando Cynthia estudiaba, ella nunca se olvidaba de sus compañeros. Cada año, Cynthia mandaba a su madre distintas cosas para que su madre las repartiera a sus amigos. Cynthia siempre fue una persona que procuraba a sus amigos. De esta forma podemos ver cómo es que a Cynthia le era importante mantenerse cerca de las personas queridas, así como ayudar a aquellos que lo necesitaban. Por ejemplo, al llegar a Boston, Cynthia participó en el programa del "hermano menor"; también ayudaba a un chico en otro país mandándole dinero y tarjetas vía correo para que el chico pudiera salir adelante en sus estudios.

La señora Marta me comentó cómo ella espera la llegada de los jóvenes de MSPP a Ecuador, ya que ella puede ver la mirada de su hija en cada uno de los jóvenes que viajan a Ecuador como parte del Programa Latino de MSPP. La madre de Cynthia me platicó algunas anécdotas que muestran el gran corazón y aportación humana de Cynthia. Una de éstas anécdotas es la siguiente: "Un día entraron muchas hormigas a la habitación de Cynthia, y ella le decía a su padre, - Papito, aquí hay muchas hormigas - A lo que el padre respondió, - tú tienes la culpa ya que eres muy dulce y las hormigas te persiguen".

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Tagged Personal Growth, Social Responsibility, Latino Mental Health

Cynthia Lucero's Mom Interview Part I

Posted on November 28,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Last October, I had the opportunity of speaking with an amazing woman, Marta, who is Cynthia Lucero’s mom about her life, their non-profit organization and the message that Cynthia Lucero carried out to others through her life. It is through her family, these messages, and actions that Cynthia keeps touching the lives of many people throughout the globe.

Here you can read parts of the interview in Spanish, I will soon translate it to English so that it can be accessible to all. Due to the length and depth of the interview, it will be divided in parts, as I feel we all have so much to learn from Cynthia and also from her wonderful family.

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Tagged Personal Growth, Social Responsibility, Latino Mental Health

Students of a Certain Age

Posted on November 22,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

While growing up, some people thought I was strange because I had friends of very different ages, and of course at MSPP this is not an exception. One of the things that really enriches the MSPP atmosphere is that there is a lot of diversity in terms of the people you get to know, and of course age is not an exception. My father used to say that when one is in a group, the group experience can be measured by the sum of the years of experience of that group, and I believe he is right.

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Gratitud - Thanksgiving Day

Posted on November 16,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Here I share with you some thoughts I wrote in Spanish one year ago about Thanksgiving. I am very thankful to my friend Dorian and her family who warmly showed me and my family this tradition one year ago...

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Tagged Around Boston, Latino Mental Health

Internship Application Process

Posted on November 08,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Time goes fast at MSPP! This past week, the school hosted some meetings to explain us second year students the internship application process for third and fourth year. One of the most important things that influenced my decision of applying to MSPP was that, unlike other programs, MSPP’s integral model requires students to be involved in the mental health field since first year, so the first two years of the program are practicum and the last two years of the program consist of completing two half-time internships.

I feel like it was last month when I had my phone interview (I was living in Mexico City at that time) for Arbour Latino Partial Hospitalization Program, where I completed my first practicum year. That site was a great experience for me not only in the sense that I learned to do psychodynamically oriented group work, intakes, and other things; but also I also learned and got to experience the hospital rush and system, which for me was important as I come from a different health system. Most important, I made some great friends at that site whom I really value, trust, and have fun with in a frequent basis.

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Día de Muertos

Posted on October 31,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Last Friday, while browsing through some of my Mexican friends’ facebook status updates, I realized that this is a long weekend in Mexico. The sad or scary part for me (as a Mexican) is that I couldn’t figure out why it was a long weekend. Later, I was talking with an MSPP friend, and we started talking about Halloween and Día de Muertos. Suddenly, it hit me (duh!): of course it is a long weekend because we celebrate “el Día de Muertos¨ (Day of the Dead) on November 2nd. All my life while growing up in Mexico, this was a long weekend full of festivities (from Halloween to Día de Muertos we would never miss out an opportunity for gathering, by celebrating things from our culture as well as other cultures).

I think I refer to this experience as “sad” or “scary” as it made me realize how easy it is to lose track of time and traditions when one is so involved with school and internship, and well, this life. I’m happy though that I had that opportunity of talking with my friend and remember the reason for a long weekend. Suddenly I felt pretty nostalgic about “Día de Muertos¨.

The origins of Día de Muertos trace back to indigenous cultures. Nowadays, families gather together to pray for and remember their deceased family and friends. Typically, altars are built honoring the dead. Altars are decorated with sugar skulls, “pan de muerto” (“dead” bread – a delicious sugary bread), “flor de cempazuchitl” (Mexican marigolds), “papel picado” (artistically cut paper), and particular things that the deceased enjoyed (for instance, my family once made an altar in our house and it had brushes and paintings honoring my great-grandmother who was a painter artist).

Before coming to MSPP, I used to teach “Creativity Class” to a high school class, and there was an altar contest in the school, it was beautiful! In our class, we made an exercise about writing a “Calavera” (which technically it means skull, although these are different kinds of Calaveras). In a literary traditional context, Calaveras are like poems, or popular rhymes, written for Día de Muertos making allusion to the living in an ingenious and humorous way. Calaveras talk a lot about “La Parca”, “La Calavera”, “La Muerte”, “La Catrina” and so on; all referring to different ways of calling “The Skull” as a woman who comes and takes the life of the living. “Calaveras” contests are frequent amongst schools and companies, and Día de Muertos is the perfect occasion when people can write anything they want about their teachers or bosses in a “deadly” humorous way.

In honor to Día de Muertos, here is a little Calavera verse for MSPP:

Ahí viene la Parca hablando en inglés
Diciendo “hi” and “thank you” mientras la ves
Con sus huesos te atrapa
Con su sonrisa te engaña
Ahí viene la Muerte a jalarte los pies.

A MSPP la Catrina llegó
Fue Mario Murga quien la admitió
En el Programa Latino la Calavera quiere estar
Por lo que clases de español
La Flaca debe tomar.

The Calavera translation could be something like this:

Here come the Skull talking in English
Saying “hi" and "thank you” as you see her
With her bones she traps you
With her smile she grabs you
Here comes the Dead to pull your feet.

To MSPP the Skull arrived
It was Mario Murga who admitted her
In the Latino Mental Health Program the skull wants to be
And that is why the Skinny Skull
Should enroll in Spanish lessons indeed.

Clearly in English it doesn’t rhyme as much or make any sense (I really tried!), but I just posted there so that those who don’t speak Spanish could get a sense of it.

Feliz Día de Muertos!

Altar de Muertos

Calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls)
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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Latino Mental Health

NAMI Latino y la Comunidad Interview

Posted on October 25,2010 by pfuentesmoadmspp

Last Thursday, alumn Juan Rodríguez and I had the opportunity of talking about MSPP and our work with the Latino community on the radio! It is a great show called "NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) Latino y la Comunidad", which emphasizes on bringing mental health services to Latinos. This show is broadcasted every Thursday from 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm on WUNR1600 AM. In my opinion, this show provides a nice opportunity to listen about Latino mental health issues to those interested in the subject.

I am very grateful I was able to represent the school for this show. The whole experience was also very rich for me in terms of being able to hear the needs of people through the phone calls, which is the main focus of the show. It was truly a wonderful experience. Here, I share with you the link to the interview whether you want to hear more things about Latinos in Boston, practice your Spanish, or just connect with all the amazing opportunities that MSPP offers.

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Tagged Clinical PsyD, Latino Mental Health