Why I Chose Yale
My name is Ruben Atilano. My primary site was at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) – Hispanic Clinic and my secondary site was at the Consultation Center. I am originally from Los Angeles and attended University of California, Irvine, where I majored in cognitive psychology and minored in Spanish. After college, I attended the University of Missouri, where I received my masters in counseling psychology. I then earned my doctoral degree at the University of Georgia under the advisement/mentorship of Dr. Delgado-Romero. My research interests include the analysis of factors that influence Latinx students’ adaptability to navigate and succeed in college, social justice, multiculturalism, and psychological well-being.
Why I Chose Yale
I chose to apply to Yale with the hope of gaining experience with cultural/linguistic adaptation of evidence-based treatments and assessments, and engaging in clinically relevant research. I was looking for an environment where I would be academically challenged and supported to pursue scientific knowledge. I wanted to transform my privileges into support through reflectivity and providing effective interventions for underrepresented groups and social change by gaining more knowledge. I was drawn to the continuation of receiving supervision in Spanish, while continuing to understand the intersection of Latinx culture and mental health. This setting was also best to prepare me for a career as a bilingual clinician. Most importantly, it was an ideal setting for me to achieve my ultimate career goal to provide clinical work and conduct research that promotes mental health awareness and career concerns for racial/ethnic minorities, specifically in the Latinx community.
My Professional Activities
At my primary site, I provided individual psychotherapy to an assigned caseload of 10 monolingual Spanish-speaking adults living with severe mental illness (SMI). In addition, I led the Ambulatory-Specific Adjunctive Program (ASAP). ASAP is a time-unlimited group therapy program for monolingual Spanish-speaking clients that have been recently hospitalized for psychiatric concerns and/or present with moderate-to-imminent risk of psychiatric hospitalization in the near future. As part of my training, I also completed a scholarly project at the Hispanic Clinic under the guidance of Dr. Manuel Paris.
At my secondary site, the Consultation Center (TCC), I was part of a research and consultation team directed by Dr. Derrick Gordon. Related to research, I conducted a scoping review of hospital-based interventions for Latinx and Black males’ victims of gun violence. My responsibilities included working with a research team to plan the search strategy, design the search strategy, analyze the literature, and prepare a peer-review paper for publication. Regarding consultation, I provided weekly clinical supervision to 2 first-year doctoral level students working with adults in an Adult Education Center.
My Favorite Things to do in/around New Haven
My favorite things to do in New Haven included eating ice cream, going to the beach, and hiking. I am also a father to a 6-month year old baby, so my weekends consist of taking him to his swimming classes. We have also visited the zoo and aquarium, which I highly recommend to anyone.
I have appreciated my internship training regardless of the circumstances brought by Covid19. My supervisors/supervisors were very supportive throughout the process. It was truly a learning experience for me, both personally and professionally.