Culturally Adapted Cognitive Interventions for Depression: Treatment Tools from Vida Alegre

Maria Pineros-Leano, Valerie Cintrón, Lissette M Piedra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cognitive interventions remain widely used in the general population, and they are among the most prescribed treatments for depression for Hispanics/Latinos. This chapter describes best practices underlying adapted cognitive interventions used with Hispanics/Latinos struggling with depression. We begin with a discussion of the population, the prevalence of depression, and a discussion of some cultural manifestations associated with depression. Next, we provide an overview of cognitive interventions for changing depressive thoughts and special modifications for providers in communities with new Hispanic/Latino immigrants. Finally, we present a treatment plan designed for Hispanics/Latinos to help change problematic thinking associated with depression. In the appendix, we include tools in Spanish adapted from a cognitive behavioral intervention, “Vida Alegre” (VA; “A Happy Life”; Piedra LM, Cintrón V, Guardini L, Marquez J, Sink L (2011) Vida Alegre: Cómo Lograr el Control sobre sus Emociones (Manual de tratamiento—Versión en español [no publicado]) [Vida Alegre: How to Gain Control over Your Emotions. Unpublished treatment manual-Spanish version]. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana), which was tested and found effective in alleviating depressive symptoms among Spanish-speaking mothers (Piedra LM, Byoun S-J (2012) Vida alegre: preliminary findings of a depression intervention for immigrant Latino mothers. Res Soc Work Pract 22(2):138–150.; Piedra LM, Byoun S-J, Guardini L, Cintrón V (2012) Improving the parental self-agency of depressed Latino immigrant mothers: Piloted intervention results. Child Youth Serv Rev 34(1):126–135.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationToolkit for Counseling Spanish-Speaking Clients
EditorsLorraine T. Benuto
ISBN (Electronic)9783319648804
ISBN (Print)9783319648781
StatePublished - Nov 15 2017


  • Cognitive interventions
  • Depression
  • Cultural adaptations
  • Immigrants
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos


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