LGBT Issues in the Psychology of Immigrants

Price: $0.00

Oliva Espin, Ph.D
4 CE credit hours
San Francisco ~  April 7, 2017  10:00am-2:30pm

I am a Professor Emerita in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and the California School of Professional Psychology of Alliant International University. I am a native of Cuba, and I received my BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and my PhD from the University of Florida, specializing in counseling and therapy with women from different cultures and in Latin American Studies.

I have done post-doctoral work at Harvard University with a fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health. I have also received a number of professional awards, including -- in 1991, the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Public Service; in 2001, the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for Women in Psychology. My most recent book is titled, Gendered Journeys: Gender, Migration and Feminist Psychology (Palgrave Macmillian, 2015)

Throughout my career I have done research, teaching and consultation and published many articles and books. Recently I have turned my attention to the study of women saints from feminist and psychological perspectives and to the writing of my memoir

course will focus on the psychological impact of migration on the lives of immigrants and refugees in the United States who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The course analyzes the impact of intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation on the experience of migration. We aim to discover the voices and the life experiences of LGBT immigrants/refugees from a variety of cultural backgrounds and to understand the diversity and the commonality of the social/political histories that have produced those voices and/or silenced them. We will focus on the role narratives and life stories play in the formation of identity, on the cultural conditions that may constrain or facilitate the development of such narratives, and on the effect that critical insight and engagement may have on the transformation of stories and narratives. When societal transformations occur or when the person moves to a different cultural context, the acceptable accounts are also transformed. The process of migration has a profound psychological impact on the construction of life narratives for LGBT individuals. We will look at therapy strategies to work with clients who are experiencing the effect of migration and acculturation at different life stages as well as interventions for clients who are experiencing traumas related to the asylum seeking process, adaptation and coming out in the new cultural context and family processes in situations of conflicting understandings of sexual orientation.