TO SWITCH OR NOT TO SWITCH: THE EFFECTS OF INVITING BILINGUAL LATINOS TO SWITCH LANGUAGES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
Perez Rojas, Andres
Gelso, Charles J.
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The effects of inviting bilingual Latinos to switch languages in psychotherapy were examined, as was the question of whether cultural identity affected how this offer was perceived. Fifty-two bilingual Latino university students listened to one of two recordings of a psychotherapy session with a bilingual Latina therapist and client. In one recording, the therapist invited the client to switch to Spanish; in the other, she did not invite the client to switch. Participants were then asked to imagine themselves in the client's role and rate the therapist's credibility and multicultural competence, the alliance they would anticipate, and their willingness to see the therapist. Results showed that when the therapist invited the client to switch, she received higher multicultural competence ratings. Also, participants high in ethnic identity commitment rated this therapist as being less credible. These findings could contribute to the bilingual psychotherapy literature and have implications for practice and research.