Addressing Challenges Latinos/as Encounter with the LIBRE Problem-Solving Model


by Norma S. Guerra (Author)
©2016 Textbook XV, 119 Pages


Written for educators and professionals, this book examines the cultural challenges Latinos/as encounter as they move from one social setting to the next. Problem solving is presented as a skill, strategy, and protective factor in the development of resiliency and self-efficacy. This solution-oriented approach facilitates Latino/a personal and professional development in processing the unexpected. The book introduces the LIBRE Model problem-solving activity as the tool to negotiate positive change by (1) affirming cultural competency, (2) supporting self-regulated decision making, (3) monitoring self-engagement styles, and (4) developing resiliency toward smoother transitions. The goal is to provide the reader with partnering tools that will empower Latino/a engagement, personal management, and active self-agency in managing decisions, challenges, and choices.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1. Portrait of a Latino/a
  • Chapter 2. Problem-Solving Theoretical Framework
  • Chapter 3. Self-Awareness toward Cultural Efficacy
  • Chapter 4. Characteristics and Ethics in Providing Culturally Efficacious Services
  • Chapter 5. LIBRE Model Stick Figure Tool: A Graphic Organizer to Foster Self-Regulated Social Cognitive Problem Solving
  • Chapter 6. LIBRE Model: Engagement Styles in Counseling
  • Chapter 7. LIBRE Model Problem Solver’s Feedback
  • Chapter 8. A Closer Look at College Students: Self-Efficacy and Goal Orientation
  • Chapter 9. Latino/a Partnership
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Series index

| vii →


This book presents a research-based problem-solving model. As a tool, the LIBRE Model has been used to facilitate positive change and to address the importance of beliefs, values, mores, customs and traditions. The problem solver is invited to express “self ” as an individual with cultural experiences, both within their familial setting and the broad social context. Cultural efficacy is introduced as the motivational impetus and problem solving as the skill toward self-managed successful communication. To this end, the Listen-Identify-Brainstorm-Reality test-Encourage (LIBRE) Model problem-solving activity and engagement styles are explained in application with Latinos/as. A glossary of terms has also been provided along with an index.

| ix →


Change replaces the familiar with new possibilities. Whether risk or benefit, the management of any change primarily falls to the individual. Self-efficacy is facilitated by the successful processing of unexpected events. For the Latino/a living in complex overlapping cultural, familial, economic, language, and educational systems, change is constant. From home to school to work, the personal changes required to efficiently negotiate these systems are multifaceted. The need for strategy in managing change is imperative. Without a scheme for addressing these continual changes, risk is introduced that can be overwhelming, leading to personal and/or professional compromise.

The Latino/a intuitively processes these stressors as a learned behavior through instruction, experience or vicarious observation. This text introduces the LIBRE Model problem-solving activity and LIBRE Stick Figure Tool (LSFT) as vehicles to the Latino/a’s negotiation of change by (1) affirming cultural competence, (2) supporting self-regulated decision making, (3) monitoring self-engagement styles, (4) scaffolding towards resiliency, and (5) allowing for more smooth transitions between cultural groups. ← ix | x →


The tone of this text is designed to call attention to problem solving as a protective factor for the development of Latino/a resiliency and self-efficacy. A chapter-by-chapter summary is included in this introduction to set the context for this text. There is value in problem-solving assessment and intervention toward increased Latino/a success. The goal is to present a picture of current and projected Latino/a achievement with an investment in the untapped Latino/a intellectual and social cultural capital.

This text presents two research studies with the LIBRE Model problem-solving activity. Chapter 5 addresses the LIBRE Model as a graphic organizer to assist with immediate need and can be used as a problem-solving tool as well as for informal assessment of social, cultural and value systems. Chapter 6 uses the LIBRE Model as a means to introduce counseling interventions. Chapter 8 addresses problem solving in a large-scale research study. The goal is to provide a social, contextualized problem solving as a critical concept in working with Latinos/as.

Intended Audience

This volume is intended for educators, teachers and social agency persons. In particular, it is an excellent resource for teachers, service providers and researchers exploring social cognitive and cultural problem solving as an approach to self-regulated resiliency.

Book Organization

Chapter 1 is the Profile of the Latino/a, which provides a picture of Latinos/as in the U.S. Addressed in the chapter are current and projected demographic information, history, language, social values, culture, and economic trends.

Chapter 2 presents the Problem-Solving Theoretical Framework defined through social cognitive, goal-oriented, and cultural constructs. Theories addressed within the context of problem solving include: Bandura’s (2006) core properties of human agency and social cognitive theory, which are used to structure positive sociocultural change; Vygotsky’s (1978) Zone of Proximal Development; Bronfenbrenner’s (1989) ecological-systems theory and later work with bioecological systems based on Bronfenbrenner & Morris (2006); and Bandura’s (2006) social cognitive learning frames, which posit ← x | xi → that people as human agents are influenced by environment, which in turn facilitates goals and plans. This theoretical framework sets the stage for the Listen-Identify-Brainstorm-Reality test-Encourage (LIBRE) Model of problem solving.

Chapter 3 examines Self-awareness toward Cultural Efficacy and the responsibilities of the administrator in communication with Latinos/as. Defined are the service context: level of services to be provided and parameters in monitoring change. This chapter examines problem solving as a partnership in preparing to work with the Latino/a community. Administrators are asked to consider Latino/a’s professional strengths and vulnerabilities. Cultural awareness is presented with the Metamorphosis Model (Flores, 2011) in preparation for cultural competency. Self-examination of cultural values and identity in providing services are prerequisites of the problem-solving exchange. The chapter details include an example of a personal self-reflection and review of personal sociocultural values. The four engagement styles are presented and defined, along with a description of the transitional process.

Chapter 4 explores the culture, role and ethics of the administrator as the Characteristics and Ethics in Providing Culturally Efficacious Services. Set parameters and defining limitations involved in delivering direct and indirect services are discussed. Ethical considerations and training parameters to providing services are presented. Examples of boundaries are discussed and include: “maintaining safety for the Latino/a” and “when to report risk.” A narrative is provided as an example of the LIBRE Model administration in examining cultural competency. Chapter 5 presents the social cognitive theory-based LIBRE Model as a Graphic Organizer (Guerra, 2001, 2006, 2009). Ground rules involved in implementing the LIBRE Model are discussed and include: respect, safety, confidentiality and open independence to speak. LIBRE (Spanish word for free) is an acronym for the five steps of the problem-solving process:


XV, 119
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2016 (July)
cultural competency awareness in problem solving culturally competent social cognitive exchanges engagement styles self-regulated attentiveness Social Cognitive Resiliency problem solving
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2016. XIV, 120 pp.

Biographical notes

Norma S. Guerra (Author)

Norma S. Guerra is a nationally certified school psychologist and a licensed professional counselor-supervisor. Her research interests include social cognitive problem solving, self-regulation, attention, and engagement styles. Dr. Guerra is the author of Clinical Problem Solving Case Management, which addresses attention toward positive change.


Title: Addressing Challenges Latinos/as Encounter with the LIBRE Problem-Solving Model
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