Therapy is Twice as Effective in Clients’ Native Language

therapy is twice as effective in clients native language

A bilingual person is more common in today’s world than at any other point in history. Being influenced by so many cultures at the same time, learning a language other than our native tongue is now pretty easy. Being fluent in two different languages is great, but when it comes to getting psychotherapy, you may want to consider what option is better.

Language plays a great role in how we understand and interpret our emotional experiences. If you were brought up in a house where English was a secondary language, then chances are that most of your emotional experiences are intertwined in your native language.

This means that most of how you truly feel is coded within your native language and not in English. This could make a difference when you are seeking therapy in a language other than your native, such as English.

Why is therapy twice as effective in your native language?

Therapy aside, you may have noticed in your day to day interactions with friends, coworkers, and strangers that how different your personality seems when you shift your language. How you have to pause for a moment to think about the exact translation of your experience from your native language to your secondary language. Some people might be good at this, while for others this can hinder their expression of how they truly express themselves.

According to research, psychotherapy in your own native language is twice as effective in comparison to your secondary language. It is because understanding and interpreting your ideas, experiences, and emotions in your primary language comes more naturally to you. As it is the language you have used for expression since your early childhood. Another upside to seeking therapy in the native language is that it feels more fluid and you can describe it more spontaneously without interrupting.

When you don’t have to translate or pause before speaking, this can make it easier for you to convey your expressions in their truest forms.

Important points to consider

The experience of using your native language in therapy is never the same for two individuals. Some people find it better to express themselves in a multilingual format to be heard and understood. Whatever approach you use, it can have a great impact on the results you obtain from therapy.

The following points will help you understand why language matters and what impacts it can produce on your therapeutic outcomes

Language for self-identification

Often the circumstances we have been through seem more familiar when we think of them in our native terms. We may be able to think of ourselves better in our own native language.

You look at yourself differently when you think in different languages. Your native language will make you see yourself as more emotional and how you originally are.

While your non-native language might be more rational and emotionless when it comes to processing your thinking. Therefore, language can play a great role in how we look at ourselves and thus how we interpret our feelings.

Native language for better emotional attunement

If English is your second language, then describing some things in English might go well. But you may also experience an emotional distance between your true self and how you see yourself in English. Retelling events from your past and then trying to translate them into English might take a lot of emotions out of them. When you unconsciously adjust them from your native language to English, you may feel them losing their essence. Many words will lose their meaning when translated, such as poems.

Therefore, when you use your native language, you will not have to lose any efficiency of your expressions in translation. Having to express your emotions in a different language can be too difficult to process for some clients resulting in them leaving therapy.

Language and depth of connection

In a similar way, you might feel more open and expressive with a therapist that understands your native tongue. Having cultural similarities, it will be easier for you to describe your emotions more accurately. Your therapist will also benefit if they can exactly relate to what you are trying to express.

Language in counseling for healing

The importance of language cannot be avoided. Language is an essential mechanism that can allow us to connect and disconnect from our emotions. It also enables us to regulate our true selves so we can be as honestly expressive as we can.

Native language can serve as a tool to allow us to reconnect to our past and layout our emotions and experiences in a way that’s unfiltered and honest. This boosts up our healing process by bringing more emotional attachment to therapy.

The Takeaway

Finding therapy options that allow you to express yourself in your native language can enhance your experience. Our native language not only allows us to be honestly expressive but at the same time layout our feelings in most unfiltered form. Therefore, if you consider therapy in your native tongue, it can turn out to be a much better and rewarding experience.

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