Five Concepts for Counselors to Incorporate in their Work with Latina/o Youth and Parents

Mariaelena Ochoa


This article is practitioner based and focuses on how high school counselors can facilitate the development of Latina/o youth and parents who on a daily basis face psychological and social issues that confront their lives. My work with Latina/o troubled youth and parents over a 33 year period has lead me to propose five concepts that can serve counselors to effectively work with low-income Latina/o youth and parents in particular. The five concepts are: (1) connectedness, (2) self-affirmation, (3) brokering support and trust, (4) internal cognitive restructuring, and (5) educators who are cognizant and culturally sensitive to Latina/o youth and parents will be able to better access education for low-income youth and their parents. The concepts were derived my reflections of my work, discussions with other high school counselors, involvement with school related committees dealing with troubled youth and their parents, as a MEChA advisor, conducting group counseling sessions, and through specific sessions with parents as they sought assistance in working with their daughter or son.


practitioner; low-income; self-affirmation; connectedness; brokering; internal cognitive restructuring; resiliency

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