Vida Alegre: Teaching Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Spanish

Valerie Cintrón, Lissette M. Piedra, Maria Pineros-Leano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bilingual social workers need specialized training to provide effective mental health services to Spanish-speaking Latinos. Ideally, this training should use the language in which the social workers plan to practice. This article describes an innovative two-semester course offered in Spanish that prepared advanced undergraduate and graduate students to use a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention (Vida Alegre). In the first semester, students learned CBT methods using Vida Alegre training materials. In the second, they conducted a service-learning project that included facilitating a CBT group under the supervision of an instructor. We review their challenges and lessons learned and provide future recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-310
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 27 2018


  • Latino immigrants
  • bilingual students
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • group modality
  • therapy in Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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