Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Chicano Studies

Reader 1

Sheila Walker

Reader 2

Martha Gonzalez

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Rights Information

© 2019 Michelle G Ramirez Martinez


Prior research has found that the Latinx population endures multiple obstacles and has low rates of help seeking and completion of therapy for mental health. The present proposed study aims to assess whether cultural and identity-based therapy methods, specifically limpias and platicas, can serve as a form of psychotherapy for Mexican-American students attending residential colleges in the United States. Additionally, the present study examines whether the incorporation of these practices in institutional settings positively affect Mexican-American individuals seeking psychological help. A three-phase study will be administered in which participants with depression and/or anxiety (N=64) will be asked to take initial questionnaires to determine symptomatology, views regarding therapy, perceived therapist-client relationship, and trust. In the second phase, participants will be randomly assigned to engage in one of two conditions: the culture based approach, which couples client-centered therapy with limpias and platicas, or the standard client-centered therapy framework. In the third phase, participants will reassess factors from phase one and rate how likely they are to seek similar treatment in the future if needed. The studies will confirm that the culture based approach is perceived more positively and has higher rates of improved symptomatology for participants. Future directions regarding the restructuring of mental health care services are discussed. Furthermore, the results challenge the field to conceptualize alternatives to current healing frameworks so that these incorporate components that encompass the diversity of culture and experiences in the context of the United States.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.