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Title: An exploration of the lived experience of bilingual therapists providing therapy in their native language : a phenomenological inquiry
Author: Niven, Nur Hayat
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2015
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Given that it has been estimated that more than half of the world’s population is bilingual (Grosjean, 2012, p6), language has become an attractive subject for researchers. From the counselling psychology delivery perspective, the issue of a diverse client base and the counselling psychologist’s working relationship is particularly relevant, not least since the language ability of therapists and clients is fundamental in forming an open understanding as a foundation for counselling psychology and other talking therapies. This research explores bilingual ethnic minority therapists’ lived experiences of providing psychological counselling in their native language in the UK. The research utilises research methodology known as Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Seven bilingual therapists participated in the research. They provided talking therapies in their L1 (native) language, and L2 (English). Qualitative data collection utilised semi-structured indepth interviews. Research analysis produced three key themes: 1) Living with different languages (selfhood and emotions), 2) Lost in translation (training and supervision), and 3) Fantasy of knowing (double expectations, therapeutic relationships and pride). The results indicate that while bilingual therapists feel comforted by the connection to their own heritage and language, they may feel too close to their native-speaking clients’ issues that are being brought to the therapy sessions. They feel pride in providing this valuable service to linguistically diverse clients, but they do not want this to become their sole responsibility. The findings suggest that bilingual ethnic minority therapists feel they are unsupported when they provide therapy in their native language, especially from a training and supervision viewpoint. The implications for clinical practice are explored with reference to incorporating the psychological and therapeutic function of bilingualism into the training and supervision. The urgent needs for the enhancement of guidelines for bilingual counselling psychology are discussed, and directions for further research are offered.
Supervisor: Rudd, Betty Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available