James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal (JMURJ)


Despite the cultural and linguistic diversity that exists in the United States of America, bilingualism and multiculturalism have been neglected, if not almost completely ignored, in the field of psychotherapy. When counselors and clients are unable to commuanicate due to language barriers and cultural disconnect, the client often leaves the counseling session feeling unsatisfied and is more likely to discontinue therapy altogether. This article focuses on Spanish-speaking clients seeking mental health services in the United States, surveying the available literature to argue that that clients who receive therapy in their native language are better able to express themselves and form closer relationships with their clinicians. Because bilingual counseling leads to more effective treatment for clients and improved counseling strategies for clinicians, psychotherapy in the United States should actively recruit new English-Spanish bilingual psychotherapists and invest in professional development training in Spanish language and culture.