University of Leicester
2013KAPASIZDDClinPsy.pdf (1.19 MB)

Exploring the role of language switching in psychological therapy

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posted on 2013-10-29, 15:33 authored by Zahera Danielle Kapasi
Literature Review: A systematic review was conducted exploring the use of language switching in therapy and its role in therapeutic engagement for bilingual therapists and their bilingual minority ethnic clients. The review identified three main themes of research focusing on the training needs and professional development of bilingual therapists; the emotional aspects of language use; and the use of language switching and its perceived effects on the therapeutic process. Findings highlighted that language switching can be a powerful and useful tool to enhance therapeutic engagement and client self-disclosure though gaps in the training needs of bilingual therapists was evident. Implications for future research and practice are discussed for enhancing our understanding of a tool which may prove valuable for bilingual therapists when accessing and engaging with diverse populations in the therapeutic domain. Research Report: A two-part investigation was conducted to explore the current practices on language switching amongst bilingual clinical psychologists in the United Kingdom. A survey indicated the prevalence of language switching across a diverse range of language skills and backgrounds whilst semi-structured interviews explored, in depth, experiences of South Asian clinical psychologists and the complexities associated with language switching. Findings highlighted the value of language switching and the tensions which arise relating to psychologists‟ identity, professional boundaries and supervision needs. Clinical implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided for an area of practice which is valuable in engaging bilingual minority ethnic populations. Critical Appraisal: A reflective diary provided an account of the research process considering the research strengths, limitations and learning outcomes. Those issues pertinent to the researcher have been discussed in this section.



Melluish, Stephen

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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