The Full Service Community School Health Center is proud to partner with William Paterson University  to implement Bilingual Cultural Adjustment Groups:

Description of the Program

The Culture Adjustment and Reliance (CAR) research team at the Department of Psychology, William Paterson University developed a 10-week, school-based, culturally-responsive group for recent immigrant students. The goals of the group include (a) helping immigrant students build peer connection and social support to ameliorate the stress of migration and cultural adjustment process; (b) addressing students’ family, peer, and school experience as they navigate the new cultural context; and (c) promoting a positive sense of self and learn positive coping strategies. This program is currently implemented at middle schools in Paterson, NJ for Spanish and Bangladeshi immigrant students, and facilitated by bilingual master’s and doctoral students studying in Clinical and Counseling Psychology.

Principle Investigators:

  • Pei-Wen Winnie Ma, Ph.D.

Dr Ma (1)

Dr. Ma is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of Master’s program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at William Paterson University of New Jersey. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of New York and has over a decade of clinical experience working with Asian immigrant clients and supervising pre-doctoral interns at Hamilton-Madison House in New York City. Her research investigates parent-child relationship, career development and treatment of mental health concerns from a cultural and relational framework. She received her Ph.D. degree in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.

 

  • Aileen Torres, Ph.D.

Dr Torres (1)

Dr. Torres is a licensed clinical psychologist in NJ and Puerto Rico with clinical experiences focused on abuse and trauma, family therapy, parenting and cultural adaptation. She is currently an assistant professor at William Paterson University of NJ’s Clinical PsyD program. She was the Associate Director of Clinical Services and Internship Director at the YCS Institute for Infant and Preschool Mental Health from 2011-2017 and is endorsed as a Level IV Clinical Mentor by the NJ Association for Infant Mental Health. She had experience in child abuse forensic evaluations and treatment services at the Regional Diagnostic Treatment Center (RDTC) at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center from 2007-2011.  In 2011 she served on the Advisory Group on Child Abuse and Neglect Mental Health Evaluation for the NJ Department of Children and Families. Her private practice is located in Lyndhurst, NJ where she conducts forensic psychological evaluations for immigration cases (extreme hardship, asylum, VAWA, etc.).  She is the Past-President of the Latino/a Psychological Association of NJ (LPANJ), member of the National Latinx Psychological Association and currently on the New Jersey Psychological Association’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (NJPA CODI). Her research interests include bicultural identity integration and dissonant acculturation in families, as well as cultural protective factors in child abuse cases.

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