Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis


This is a new, and only, emphasis within the M.S. Department of Counseling designed to address the various professional, curricular/training, and community needs related to providing mental health services to Latinx and Spanish-speaking clients. The Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis will provide trainees course curriculum that: meets requirements to pursue licensure as Professional Clinical Counselors and Marriage and Family therapists in California; is grounded in nationally-approved competencies (Council for Accreditation for Counseling and Related-Educational Programs, CACREP, and the American Counseling Association, ACA) and; focuses on developing self-awareness as a bilingual and bicultural counselor, knowledge of Latinx-cultures and familiarity with interventions appropriate to Latinx and Spanish-speaking clients.


Need for Culturally Competent Training

The new Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis meets three important needs. First, within the professional mental health fields (e.g., counseling, psychology, social work) there is a high need for graduate programs to provide culturally-competent and linguistically-appropriate curriculum, training, and supervision. Second, within the Latinx community, there is also a high need for clinicians who are culturally-competent and have therapeutic-Spanish speaking skills, all of which contributes to improve all aspects of the therapeutic process— Engagement, Assessment, and Treatment. Finally, there is an equally high need for culturally-competent and linguistically-appropriate training and supervision for Master’s level trainees. Given the demographics of the Latinx population at the local, state, and national levels, this much-needed program will be one of a handful of programs nationwide to provide this important instruction, training, and supervision geared to serve the mental health needs of the Latinx community.


Description of the New Emphasis

The new Ánimo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis within the M.S. Department of Counseling will consist of 5 core courses (COUN 511B, COUN 522B, COUN 527B, COUN 530B, and COUN 584B) and an exit requirement of intermediate-level therapeutic spoken Spanish skills. Students will share a cohort style enrollment for the 5 courses taught by professors who are bicultural and bilingual in English/Spanish. The number of units required for graduation will remain the same as for non-emphasis students: 63-units.

Language Competency Requirement

Students applying to this emphasis will need to meet a pre-requisite of basic spoken Spanish skills. The prerequisite and exit-requirement language components may be met a number of ways. The prerequisite may be met by completing: (1) a comparable undergrad Spanish-language course, (2) a competency verbal/spoken test with Counseling and Spanish bilingual faculty, or (3) SPAN 280. The exit requirement may be met by completing: (1) SPAN 280, (2) SPAN 302 (if both SPAN 280 and SPAN 302 are completed, both CSUF courses, the student may earn the   Spanish for Health and Human Services Professions Certificate), or (3) a competency verbal/spoken test with Counseling and Spanish bilingual faculty.


The 5 courses are currently already being taught (non-emphasis) and the content of the courses will remain the same; however for the Ánimo Emphasis the focus of the discussion and applications of the concepts will be within the context of the Latinx clients/community. The Ánimo Emphasis courses are as follows:

FALL (first semester)

COUN 511B: Pre-Practicum for Ánimo Emphasis


COUN 522B: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning for Ánimo Emphasis

COUN 527B: Systems of Family Counseling for Ánimo Emphasis


COUN 530B: Practicum for Ánimo Emphasis

COUN 584B: Advanced Practicum for Ánimo Emphasis


The Ánimo Emphasis will focus on clinical issues related to Latinx and Spanish-speaking clients, including acculturation theory and process, immigration background/history, cultural value systems, intergenerational family conflict, ethnic identity models, similarities and differences among Latinx sub-groups, and intersection of various other diversity dimensions (gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, social class, etc.).

At the completion of the Ánimo Emphasis, students will have their accomplishment noted on their degree/transcript and receive a special scarf/pin to be worn during graduation.

For further information contact: Olga Mejía, PhD, Associate Professor, omejia@fullerton.edu