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Why I Chose Yale

My Background

My name is Wendy Cook; I am a proud immigrant from Costa Rica and a graduate of the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at Nova Southeastern University. Currently, I am a Post Graduate Fellow at the Yale Health Mental Health and Counseling program. Before my time in the U.S., I completed my Licenciatura in Clinical Psychology from Latina University in Costa Rica, where I am a licensed clinical psychologist. My research is focused on the impact of trauma in underserved communities and the adaptation and development of psychometric measures for Spanish-speaking populations. My most recent work seeks empirical validation of the E-Trauma, a psychological trauma measure in Spanish.

Why I Chose Yale

I chose Yale because of the incredible opportunities for research and clinical growth, but the most meaningful reason for me relies on the importance of representation. I wanted to come to Yale so that others from historically marginalized backgrounds could imagine themselves at prestigious institutions like Yale. I wanted to represent and advocate for my people, and the Hispanic Clinic offered a unique experience working with Spanish monolingual individuals. I was so excited for the opportunity to tailor interventions with cultural and linguistic considerations. .

My Professional Activities

At the Hispanic Clinic (my primary site), I provided individual and group psychotherapy to monolingual Spanish-speaking adults. I had the opportunity to create and pilot a year-long trauma, culturally and linguistically informed group guide for the Ambulatory-Specific Adjunctive Program (ASAP). The guide integrates psychoeducation, counseling, and process group modalities to attend to the unique mental health needs of a population who often experiences acculturative stress, language difficulties, cultural misunderstandings, racial discrimination, and loss of social support.

My Favorite Things to do in/around New Haven

I have enjoyed discovering the rich culture of New Haven. First, let’s talk about the food! New Haven offers an eclectic mix of dining options, from popular food carts and New England seafood to the best pizza in the world!!! There is always something delicious and new to try. Second, we may be small in size but big in art and history. New Haven is a coastal city with stunning architecture, museums, and a picturesque landscape. If you are lucky enough to live in New Haven, you will enjoy the water and outdoor activities in the summer and the most gorgeous and picture-worthy fall foliage there is. During the winter, and because of the convenient location, you can go to the most spectacular ski resorts in the neighboring states. Also, because New Haven is a coastal town, sunny days are frequent during the winter, making the low temperatures much more manageable for cold-sensitive individuals like me! Finally, my favorite season in CT is the springtime. During this spring, you would be surrounded with messages of hope and resilience by the blooming of the most breathtaking flowers and trees I have ever seen (and I am from Costa Rica).

Final Thoughts

I will be forever thankful for this experience and the amazing connections I made during my internship year.