The topic of immigration is timely yet polarizing. By definition, to be an immigrant implies being in a state of transition and transformation. The eventual outcome is likely to be influenced by a series of contextual factors starting in the country of origin, continuing during the migration journey, and culminating in receiving communities. The authors use a fictional case example of a Central American immigrant woman to illustrate VALOR, the Spanish word for courage, as an acronym that identifies five key areas for clinical consideration in behavioral health settings: Values, Arrival in the United States, Losses, Obstacles to care, and Resources. VALOR offers guidance for a culturally informed assessment critical for mental health clinicians. Implications for culturally affirming treatment directions including advocacy, community linkage, and attention to trauma and unresolved grief are woven into the discussion.
Silva, M., Domenech-Rodriguez, M., Garcini, L., Mercado, A., Cadenas, G., Venta, A., & Paris, M., (In press 2022). VALOR: Cultural considerations when assessing Central American immigrant women in behavioral health settings. Practice Innovations. https://doi.org/10.1037/pri0000186