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Educational Initiatives

USFQ Mental Health Center believes that mental health is a fundamental component for the integral development of a human being. At the same time, we are aware that in Ecuador, access to quality service for low-income populations is scarce and as a result, the USFQ Mental Health Center maintains a collaboration with ALUMNI (clinical psychology graduate students) who provide quality psychological services to vulnerable populations while maintaining a differentiated rate. The ALUMNI who joins this initiative will have the possibility of training, supervising and following-up their cases with the professionals at the USFQ Mental Health Center, while also practicing their clinical skills in a safe environment. 

1. Alumni Project: 

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2. Clinical Practice Supervision Program For USFQ Psychology Master's Students: 

The Master's program in Clinical Psychology has different clinical practice modules that are carried out in collaboration with the USFQ Mental Health Center. The practices carried out by the students are personalized. When caring for a patient, the student is accompanied by a clinical psychologist, who models therapeutic techniques and supports him during the sessions. In addition to those hours of supervised practice in situ, students have 2 hours of weekly group supervision with specialized teachers. These supervisions are supported by visual material that is obtained thanks to the camera system at the mental health center. 


The center has also a variety of psychometric tests that allow students to assess their patients when appropriate. In addition, the clinic has protocols that support patient care such as: contract and safety plan, therapeutic process reports, information release forms, among others. The work of both the Master's students and the Supervisors at the USFQ Mental Health Center provide care to vulnerable populations at differentiated costs.


Cherie Elaine Oertel Ph.D. 

Director of the Master

Ph.D. in Psychology and Counseling from the University of Kansas, has extensive clinical experience. He has training in various empirically based psychological treatments. Provides individual, couples, group therapy and supervision to therapists. Cherie is actively involved in mental health awareness initiatives and is trained to assess clinical populations. 


Javier Jurado

Master's student

I studied a distance learning degree in psychology at UTPL and I am currently studying a master's degree at USFQ.  I have an 11-year-old daughter with whom I spend unforgettable moments. As a hobby I like to play the guitar and learn languages. I have had experience in various fields such as working in the field or selling and maintaining computers. Something I would love to do in the future is to be able to write children's books and/or psychological dramas. I am a believer and I thank God and my parents for everything I have received. 


María Paula Garcés Holguín

Master's student

Master's degree in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology from the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain and student of the Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at the San Francisco de Quito University. She is passionate about psychology and constantly learning. His dream is to have a clinic for psychological and neurological specialties. 


Diana González

In June 2020, I graduated with a degree in psychology from Universidad San Francisco de Quito and obtained a sub-specialization in educational psychology. After finishing my master's degree in clinical psychology, I would like to continue specializing so that I can work in child psychology. On a personal level, I love learning, reading, writing and movies. I am passionate about dance and I like yoga. I love to walk in nature with my family and friends. 

Master's student


Diana Reyes

I graduated with a degree in Psychology from USFQ and I have no words to explain how wonderful those four years there were. I really learned too much, so I ventured to try this new stage here.  

To be honest, psychology is part of my life and I have always been interested both in mental health and in knowing the personal essence of everyone. I think what excites me most about the race is the people, as I find myself fascinated by their individuality.

Master's student


Alfonsina Cueva

I am a psychologist from the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, I have a Diploma in couples therapy from the Institute of Psychologists of Mexico and I am currently a teacher in the USFQ Clinical Psychology program. A year ago I started a mental health prevention and promotion project through social networks. I am very excited to start this new professional stage, to continue training to provide the best service to society and thus be able to accompany the emotional flourishing of every person who comes to my consultation. 

Master's student


Mateo Castillo

I am studying a master's degree in clinical psychology at USFQ. I really like playing sports, playing music, cooking and reading. I like to do activities in which I can express myself, like in a sport, to bring out the emotion that I have inside. Psychology was a taste that grew in me, when I was little I never imagined doing this or studying to be a psychologist five, but over the years I have been liking it little by little and I can say that this is what I like And that's what I want to do in my life. 

Master's student


Camila Merino

Master's student

The motto that guides her life is: enjoy every moment because every situation has a reason and comes with a purpose. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2019 from USFQ and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. I chose this career for the ability to serve others, to know and connect with the world of each person. Among my hobbies I can share that I like to cook, exercise, dance, travel, share with my family and friends. 


Juliana García

I grew up in Quito, and it was here that I found a home, a family, and a passion for clinical psychology. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in hearing and understanding each person's story, the obstacles that brought them to the present, and their dreams for the future. I did my undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology at USFQ. In these years, I was able to do an exchange at the University of Oregon where I continued studying psychology and growing personally and professionally. My hobbies are abstract drawing and baking. 

Master's student


Nicole de la Torre

I love nature, animals, photography and traveling. All my life I found a lot of passion in learning more about living beings, the behavior, development and evolution of each one and that is what motivates and encourages me to continue preparing myself every day. In recent years, my main focus is and has been the human being and the qualities that allow us to have such different experiences from each other. I have an innate interest in serving and protecting those around me and that is what my mission should be in the now. 

Master's student

3. Deconstructing Stigma in Collaboration with McLean Hospital:

In order to raise awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma that is often associated with psychiatric disorders, "Deconstructing Stigma" was created. A campaign created by McLean Hospital (Affiliated to Harvard Medical School) and brought to Ecuador by the existing collaboration between McLean Hospital and the Mental Health Center of Universidad San Francisco de Quito.  This project is executed by 4th year Psychology students as a final project of their career, in their desire to destigmatize mental disorders in our community.

The campaign "Deconstructing Stigma" invites people who have a mental illness to share their experiences, life stories and how they have faced this situation. These experiences are shared hoping that society will talk more about mental health and loose the fear of being judged for having a mental health condition.  

Those who are part of this campaign allow their photo and their personal story to be shared through different media such as: social networks, billboards, posters, etc. Your participation in this project is not anonymous, your story and your face will be recognizable; precisely with the objective of giving a face to stories of overcoming mental health conditions. Participation is voluntary and unpaid.

Do you want to be part of this initiative and access more information?

Fill out this form to get in touch with you.

Do you want to know more about this international initiative?

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