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Psychotherapy across languages: beliefs, attitudes and practices of monolingual and multilingual therapists with their multilingual patients

Costa, B. and Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2012) Psychotherapy across languages: beliefs, attitudes and practices of monolingual and multilingual therapists with their multilingual patients. Language and Psychoanalysis (1), pp. 18-40. ISSN 2049-324X.

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Abstract

The present study investigates beliefs, attitudes and practices of 101 monolingual and multilingual therapists in their interactions with multilingual patients. We adopted a mixed-method approach, using an on-line questionnaire with 27 closed questions which were analysed quantitatively and informed questions in interviews with one monolingual and two multilingual therapists. A principal component analysis yielded a four-factor solution accounting for 41% of the variance. The first dimension, which explained 17% of variance, reflects therapists’ attunement towards their bilingual patients (i.e., attunement versus collusion). Further analysis showed that the 18 monolingual therapists differed significantly from their 83 bi- or multilingual peers on this dimension. The follow up interviews confirmed this result. Recommendations based on these findings are made for psychotherapy training and supervision to attend to a range of issues including: the psychological and therapeutic functions of multi/bilingualism; practice in making formulations in different languages; the creative therapeutic potential of the language gap.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Dr JM Dewaele
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2012 09:11
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5275

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