We asked several outstanding Hispanic social workers to tell us why they chose social work as their profession and what they see as challenges to serving the Hispanic community today.
Bernard J. Baca, PhD, LCSW
Q. What is your area of expertise?
I am a clinician and educator with 21 years of experience. I hold a doctorate and master’s degree in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in social work and have supervised graduate and post graduate students and has taught classes in the marriage and family therapy graduate program at Christian Theological Seminary.
My work has been published in a number of publications concerning Imago Relationship theory and practice. He has presented national workshops in the area of marital therapy, working with character problems, object relations, envy, and pedophilia. My areas of expertise are Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, cultural competency for Latinos, Object relations theory, Sexual abuse (both perpetrator and victim) assessment and treatment.
Dr. Baca and his wife
Q. Why did you choose social work as your profession?
I grew up in an psychologically dysfunctional family, and wanted to “help them” and myself as a social worker. I was trained by Drs. Harville Hendrix and Pat Love as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist and Couples Workshop Presenter respectively. I love helping couples blossom relationally by helping them understand themselves through their partner’s experience of them. My wife Rev. Shermie L. Schafer is also a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist and together we conduct couples Imago Workshops.
Q. What are the challenges facing social workers to help our growing Hispanic population?
Understanding that the process of “acculturation/assimilation” is a three generational process and can not be shortened. Understanding, and acceptance of the self within the broader society and one’s transitional space in the original Latino society and culture is critical.
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