Giving Psychology Away


From Alaina Dettmer, Public Education Committee
November 2023

This month the Public Education Committee will begin highlighting professionals whose work aligns with our mission of “giving psychology away.” This month we will be highlighting Marisol Beaulac, PsyD, from Raíces de Bienestar. Dr. Beaulac began her work well before entering the field of psychology, growing up in San Francisco where she dedicated her time to working with a variety of community-based organizations and nonprofit work. Dr. Baulac later became a first-generation college student, earning her PsyD from Pacific University where she participated in both the Adult and Sabiduria tracks within the graduate program. During her time at Pacific, Dr. Beaulac worked closely with Drs. Daisy Bueno and Ruth Zúñiga, gaining valuable experience working with the Latinx community and learning how to integrate outreach efforts into the field of psychology. Currently, Dr. Beaulac continues to work with Drs. Bueno and Zúñiga at Raices de Bienestar.

Dr. Baulac described the mission of Raices de Bienestar as providing culturally congruent services to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Services are open to all, with an emphasis on serving the Latinx community. Dr. Baulac developed a passion for working with this community through her own cultural background and learning about Oregon’s need for more cultural adaptations to mental health services during graduate school. All clinicians at Raices de Bienestar are bilingual and bicultural. Clinicians focus on “meeting clients where they are at,” being involved in mobile services, partnering with community organizations, doing psychoeducation and presentations, as well as providing individual therapy for community members. The services provided by Raices de Bienestar include three pillars. First is community liberation, which involves both virtual and in-person outreach projects, psychoeducation, and presentations to benefit the Latinx community. Second is clinical services, where clinicians provide individual psychotherapy, largely to underserved populations. The third pillar is consultation and capacity building, which focuses on providing training to other organizations about culturally informed care.

Dr. Beaulac’s first experience with public education was during her time at Pacific University working with Dr. Zúñiga within the Sabiduria emphasis, when she became involved with mobile services traveling to vineyards to provide psychoeducation on emotional health and wellness for migrant farm workers. Dr. Baulac continues to provide this service today through Raices de Bienestar. She and the Raices de Bienestar team educate the community on topics such as depression, anxiety, stress management, and suicidality, among others. Though psychoeducation is a valuable piece of the work, Dr. Beaulac says that even more powerful are the resulting conversations and connections which form among community members. She has seen firsthand how sparking these conversations among community members contributes to the de-stigmatization of seeking mental health services.

Dr. Baulac believes that it is important for all individuals to have access to mental health resources and be given the opportunity to heal in whatever way is most personally effective for them. She recognizes that it is important not to push Western ideas of mental health and education as the “correct way of doing things” when working with minority populations. Although our field provides background knowledge and support, Dr. Baulac believes that it is the connections formed among community members that have been the most impactful and rewarding aspect of her work. She says that mental health professionals can, in fact, learn much from listening to their clients.

Moving forward, Dr. Baulac sees herself continuing to learn and grow in public education and community-based psychology. One of her goals in her work at Raices de Bienestar is to expand their mobile services to reach more rural communities. Dr. Baulac’s advice for psychologists wanting to be involved in public education is to start by asking yourself what fuels you and brings you passion. Through all of her work and passion for serving the community, Dr. Baulac is a gift to the field of psychology and a shining example of the importance of giving psychology away.