Liberation Psychology Intercambio/Exchange

Juan Carlos García Rivera

Juan Carlos was born and raised in El Salvador, where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Science Majoring in Psychology at Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA). After finishing his undergraduate studies, Juan Carlos worked in a church community clinic and in private practice, providing low cost therapy services to clients of all ages and backgrounds. In 2013 he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to attend San Diego State University’s Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy program with an emphasis on Social Justice, Multiculturalism and community engagement. Following the completion of his Masters, Juan Carlos worked for a year as a Bilingual Case Manager with the homeless population in San Francisco, supporting primarily undocumented, Spanish speaking clients.
While attending San Diego State University, Juan Carlos collaborated with professors and colleagues to create an El Salvador Immersion program. Each year, international therapists and other professionals visit El Salvador and engage with local communities to learn about the foundations of Liberation Psychology, the country’s history, the effects of the recent civil war and ethical implications for therapeutic practice. Upon returning to El Salvador in 2016, Juan Carlos has been working as a Professor teaching Undergraduate Psychology students, facilitating Mental Health Workshops in partnership with Non-Profit agencies, seeing clients in private practice, and assisting in research on the historical roots of violence in the country. In August of 2018, he will begin a Doctoral program in Critical Social/Personality Psychology at City University of New York.

Dr. Leticia Gonzalez Pileski is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an AAMFT Approved Clinical Supervisor. Dr. Pileski has had advanced clinical Strategic Family training from Dr. Jay Haley and Mental Research Institute and has a Certificate in Latin American Family Therapy from Alliant International University’s (AIU) Mexico Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion Program. She has studied and worked in Mexico while adapting family therapy practices for optimal use with Latino families and children. Her influence from her training has motivated her to return to the Mexico Immersion program annually as an Adjunct Professor in order to influence developing therapist in the importance of being a culturally competent therapist and increase abilities in working with Latino and ethnic communities. She is an Adjunct Professor at two COAMFTE accredited universities, AIU and San Diego State University. Leticia is AAMFT Approved Clinical Supervisor and Mentor. She is one of two Co-Directors at the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement at SDSU. In addition, Dr. Pileski has over fifteen years experience in working with diverse therapeutic community based programs, school based therapeutic services and in crisis clinics throughout Southern California including. She has worked with youth for over two decades including developing and directing therapeutic camps. She actively provides therapeutic services to adolescent students and their families at Fusion Academy. Dr. Leticia Pileski has traveled to Mexico, Cambodia and El Salvador as a professional and a learner to expand resources, work with orphans and increase learning opportunities for professionals and the underserved equally.
Dr. Jason J. Platt is an Associate Professor and the Program Director of the Masters in International Counseling Psychology program at Alliant International University. He is the founder of the CSPP Spanish Language and Cultural Immersion program and the Certificate in Latin American Family Therapy. In addition to the Mexico programs, Dr. Platt has facilitated immersion education programs in India, Cambodia and Vietnam. Dr. Platt has published referred journal articles and book chapters on the nature of competent clinical practice with an emphasis on international clinical competencies, Latino communities, impoverished populations and the need to adapt clinical practice to meet the mental health needs of underserved communities. As an educator he is passionate about exploring the effectiveness of alternative educational and training modalities, particularly on the use of critical pedagogy. Dr. Platt’s passion and academic interest in diversity and international issues makes sense in context. He was fortunate to have come from a very unique international family of origin. He was raised with seven adopted siblings from five different countries: Mexico, Korea, Colombia, Brazil and El Salvador. His siblings arrived with varied but often traumatic histories: abuse and exploitation, having witnessed and experienced both personal and political violence, sanitary and hunger-related health issues and so forth. Invariably this has influenced his career choices and commitment to being part of research and educational efforts that will better prepare clinicians to work with international and impoverished communities.