By: Giancarlo Fraticelli Ortiz
Interview with Ivonne Villate
Ivonne Villate is a clinical psychologist who did her bachelor’s degree with a Psychology major in Syracuse University. She’s a very dedicated woman who loves to read and loves her profession but at the same time she divides her time with her profession and her family. That’s why she won the award for the psychologist of the year given by the American Psychologists Association (APA) of Puerto Rico.
The highest degree achieved by Ivonne Villate a PhD. She specializes in clinical psychology. She made a minor in Forensic Psychology, but never practiced it because she decided to spend time and engage to her children. She resumed her practice 5 years later. She says she prefers to be a clinical psychologist because she would leave the forensic psychology to younger people because it requires dedication, long hours of work and takes too long and too much time. Ivonne Villate specializes in children and adolescents.
Ivonne Villate is fascinated by human behavior. She says that, “It’s a challenge to listen to people, understand their problems and to helping them make decisions. I feel great satisfaction to see, observe, and have evidence of the importance of people or patients. I like to emphasize that not only one can change behavior but one can modify maladaptive behavior changes”. All this led her to choose her profession.
She has worked four years for the department of education. This includes Puerto Rico’s public schools, kindergarten through 6th grade. Her work as a psychologist for the Department of Education is to offer psychological counseling to students in the assigned school. The therapies are given 1 day a week for each school. Ivonne mentions that: “The school population has very challenging problems, most often by social economic entity in which they live, poor resources, parents with low education level who can not write or read, you are faced with difficult problems. There is much need in this sector of the population. Some problems are: sexual abuse, domestic violence, etc. Most children have specific learning problems. In psychology you have to understand that the person who comes into your hands is a commitment which you have to hold on to. She says that as a psychologist one has to have an ethical and social responsibility.
What Ivonne Villate thinks is the most important thing in her profession is knowing your limits and that mental health profession is very important. She thinks we should do a conceptualization of the whole therapy and measure the goals you set. She also states that “You cannot take all cases because you have to have time to handle them”. The most important thing that a psychologist should have is empathy. She says the mental health professional should be balanced in order to help others.
She states that mental health in Puerto Rico today unfortunately is increasingly deteriorating. She says that the most common problems are suicides and domestic violence. “We see a society that is marked by aggression, drug abuse and alcoholism.” For her, if public education does not improve, Puerto Rico will have a difficult future. She thinks that improvements in the Department of Education should be made. She is concerned because she knows that children are the future of Puerto Rico. I think she deserves the prize because she has all the characteristics and requirements for such honor.
Ivonne, the renowned psychologist, is a modern woman who aspires great achievements in her life.
Ivonne Villate demonstrates how she spends
time with her family as well as with her