¿Me Explico? Mexican Client Perspectives on Therapy With Spanish as a Second Language Clinicians


As globalization has exponentially increased social interactions across national lines, the need for bilingual and bicultural mental health professionals has logically followed. In this case study, we present exploratory phenomenological research conducted in Mexico in which we explored family therapy clients’ perspectives on their experiences in therapy with non-Mexican Spanish as a Second Language clinicians. We discuss how nuances of language enhanced or hindered the therapeutic process with native monolingual Spanish-speaking Mexicans. The first author conducted interviews focusing on clients’ perceptions regarding their therapeutic alliance, expectations, therapeutic outcome, and the influence of therapist’s language abilities. We found surprising benefits to language differences such as facilitating culturally rich exchanges and increasing collaborative activity in therapy. We also discovered disadvantages linked to reduced mutual understanding. In addition, through the process of exploration in this topic, we encountered methodological and philosophical challenges which we discuss in detail in this case study.

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