For What is Not en la Punta de la Lengua: The Importance of Bilingual Therapy for Spanish-Speaking Latinx in the United States of America




Acevedo, Jessica Lee

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This thesis highlights the importance of bilingual, Spanish-English, therapy for the Latinx population, specifically in the United States. Through the literary review of research articles, this thesis will cover the impact of language in therapy and its significance for bilingual patients to be given bilingual therapy, understanding how Latinx cultural differences affects their counseling experience, and how bilingual therapy builds and improves the relationship between patient and provider. Researchers agree that one of the main purposes of bilingual therapy is for patients to be able to express and work through their problems seamlessly between the two languages spoken during their counseling sessions. This thesis will review literature about the psychosocial benefits of conducting counseling in the clients’ native language with the focus on Spanish-speaking Latinxs. As research shows, bilingual therapy strengths the relationship between client and provider by building trust (Pérez-Rojas et al., 2009). Research reveals that the Latinx population of the United States reports some of the lowest diagnosis of mental health due to their reluctance to seek medical help across all health-related fields (Camacho et al., 2018; Magaña, 2019). Furthermore, research challenges therapists to seek the understanding of their patients backgrounds. Becoming aware of how traditional Latinx culture and language play a role in mental health, such as the common use of dichos and phrases to justify mental health problems, is also beneficial to the relationship between patients and providers (Santiago-Rivera, 1995 ;Weller & Baer, 2001; Donlan & Lee, 2010; Magaña, 2019). This thesis should serve as a guideline for how and why it is important to increase effectiveness of counseling for the Spanish-speaking Latinx population in the United States.



language, culture, bilingual therapy, Latinx, mental health, Psychology, Honors College


Acevedo, J. L. (2020). For what is not en la punta de la lengua: The importance of bilingual therapy for Spanish-speaking Latinx in the United States of America (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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