Email: [email protected] First Year at Gordon-Conwell: 2018
Expertise: Counseling; Latino mental health concerns; Culturally appropriate counseling strategies for immigrant and underserved families, couples, and individuals.
Biography: Dr. E. Carolina Benitez, PhD, LCHMC-QS, NCC joined Gordon-Conwell in 2018. She is a native of Honduras who immigrated to the United States in 1995 as a high school student, accompanied by her parents and siblings. Early personal experiences sparked her interest in the mental health of Hispanic immigrant families living in the US. Dr. Benitez completed an MA in Clinical Counseling at Columbia International University (2014) and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte (2018). Her clinical work and research focus on Hispanic immigrant communities: prevention and treatment of mental health diagnoses, the effects of acculturation on mental health, and improving quality and access to services rendered to this group. Dr. Benitez has experience working in different contexts, including community-based, outpatient addictions rehabilitation, and private practice.
Dr. Benitez’s passion and heart for serving the local Hispanic community have guided her professional interests and pursuits. For the past year, in partnership with Camino, a local nonprofit and ministry that serves and offers services to Hispanic families in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, Dr. Benitez has been working to bring educational opportunity to Hispanic/Latinos, increase access to seminary education of Hispanic/Latino pastors, and develop cultural competency among counseling and social work students and newly licensed mental health providers.
Dr. Benitez is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She also serves as Director of Camino University and Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Programs at Camino Health Center. As an educator and supervisor, Dr. Benitez is passionate about training professionals in clinical and advocacy work. As an immigrant and local community member, her goal is to engage, empower, and equip others to make a difference in their families and communities.
Dr. Benitez and her husband Roberto have four sons together: José, Christian, Sebastián, and César. When not at home, the family can be found near a local beach, the closest place to home for Dr. Benitez and Roberto, who are natives of Tela, Honduras, and Veracruz, México.
Benitez, E.C. (2020). “Clients of Latin American Descent.” In Counseling with Cultural Responsiveness, Humility, and Empathy for Diverse People.
Benitez, E. C. & Gutierrez, D. (2020). “Familias Fuertes: Strength-based Approaches to working with Latino Immigrant Families.” In Intercultural Perspectives on Family Counseling. Edited by Brian S. Canfield. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.