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ERIC Number: ED527469
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 365
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-2804-0
Interpretacion: The Lived Experience of Interpretation in the Bilingual Psychotherapist
Melchor, Rosemary Laura
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute
To enhance the effectiveness of therapy for Spanish-speaking individuals and families requires an understanding of the subtleties of language use and interpretive processing. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the interpretive process in bilingual psychotherapists as they reflected upon their lived experiences of providing therapy to this growing population. The study involved an exploration of a particular interpretive process related to dual language acquisitions, bicultural awareness, and specific linguistic behavior. The ways in which familial and cultural experiences influence the acquisition of first and second languages were considered to have an impact on therapeutic services. Interpreting meaning and values was believed to necessitate an integration of cross-cultural conscious and unconscious perceptions. To determine whether contextual and relational commonalities could be revealed in this sample of bilingual psychotherapists, the research utilized Giorgi's descriptive phenomenological method. The research found that language acquisition affected how psychotherapists came to relate emotionally and intellectually to the process of thought and speech in a specific language. Familial, educational, and social perceptions were major factors in their language processing. For all of the bilingual psychotherapists visiting or living in a Spanish-speaking environment contributed to their cultural awareness and sensitivity. A range of clinically relevant insights was gained in the study. Language-use strategies utilized by the psychotherapists included switching/shifting, speaking in Spanglish, dichos, and the use of visuals and metaphors. Bicultural, separate identities occurred when two languages were used in separate cultural contexts, resulting in feelings of disconnect or fragmentation. Also, a bilingual dual-self manifested as behavioral characteristics differentiated by cultural ties, social settings, and expectations. The psychotherapists who participated in this study were not fully conversant with depth psychology as a theoretical perspective. Nevertheless, they often described their clinical procedures in terms of this orientation suggesting that depth psychologies are clinically applicable to Latino/Latina cultures. What needs to be explored further is how psychological theory and practice in English are interpreted into Spanish. An important finding of this study also suggested that mythological meaning and historical events derived from Latino/Latina cultures need to be integrated into psychology course studies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A