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    Multilingualism and psychotherapy: exploring multilingual clients' experiences of language practices in psychotherapy

    Rolland, Louise and Dewaele, Jean-Marc and Costa, B. (2017) Multilingualism and psychotherapy: exploring multilingual clients' experiences of language practices in psychotherapy. International Journal of Multilingualism 14 (1), pp. 69-85. ISSN 1747-7530.

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    Abstract

    This study investigates bi- and multilingual clients’ self-reported language practices in counselling and psychotherapy. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through an international web survey inviting adults who had experienced one-to-one therapy to describe their experiences. Analysis of responses by 109 multilingual clients revealed that clients did not always have an opportunity to discuss their multilingualism with therapists, and for some this inhibited their language switching. Others were assertive in their language choices, or benefited from working with a therapist who was either bilingual or skilled at creating an inclusive linguistic environment. Very few reported two main therapy languages, while nearly two thirds of participants reported short code-switches. These happened occasionally within sessions and were typically linked to difficulties in translation, expressing emotion, accessing memories or quotation. Over a third of respondents used a second or additional language as their main therapy language, with nearly half of this group reporting that they never switched to their first language in sessions, despite some using it daily for inner speech. The implications for therapy and further research are discussed, including the role of the therapist in inviting the client's multiple languages into the therapeutic frame.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): multilingualism, psychotherapy, code-switching, translation, memory, emotion
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
    Depositing User: Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 14:07
    Last Modified: 06 Aug 2018 00:10
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/17869

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