Ligia M. Houben, MA, FT, FAAGC, CPC Ligia M. Houben, MA, FT, FAAGC, CPC

I recently attended a Toastmasters meeting where a speaker gave a very interesting speech.  She was from India, and talked about the value of learning about different cultures, if we are interested in establishing a better connection with people from cultures different than ours.  Her presentation was highly welcomed by the attendees, and we all agreed on how we need to learn more about other people’s customs, values, and traditions.

This value of understanding other cultures is being embraced by many organizations, including hospitals. On Feb 19th, I will be doing a presentation for Baptist Hospital about Hispanics facing losses.  Living in Miami, with over 2,500,000 Hispanics according to the U.S. Census, it becomes imperative to have valuable information regarding our values and traditions.

One of the organizations embracing the need of this awareness is ADEC (the Association for Death Education and Counseling), which in April is having its 35th annual conference in Hollywood, California. ADEC has a multicultural perspective, and because Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group (by 2050, Hispanics are expected to constitute 29% of the U.S. population), they know it is imperative to explore more ways to understand this culture in order to bring its attendees valuable information they can use with their clients and patients.  Because ADEC also understands the value of language, they have asked me to deliver a pre-conference workshop in Spanish.  This is the first time a workshop will be offered in my language and I am thrilled.

Counseling Hispanics Through Loss, Grief, and BereavementIn my book, Counseling Hispanics through Loss, Grief and Bereavement: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals, I mention how necessary it is to use the proper words in order to connect with our clients. Even if one speaks Spanish, he or she may not know different modalities or terms used in the grieving Spanish lexicon.  This workshop offers insights into my culture and how words, rituals, and traditions of the bereaved may differ from country to country. We are also offering a panel discussion entitled How Hispanics Deal With End-of-Life Issues.

When people perceive you are aware of their traditions, it has a great impact on them. They feel valued. They feel connected. And….that is what you really want, right?

My pre-workshop, Ayudando a los Hispanos en el Proceso de Duelo (Helping Hispanics in the Grieving Process), is on Tuesday, April 23, from 1:30 to 5 PM.

The How Hispanics Deal With End-of-Life Issues panel discussion, for which I will be the moderator, is on Thursday, April 25, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM.

If you have any questions, you can always email me at

Have a beautiful day and see you in California!