The Importance of a Therapist Who Speaks Your Native Language

Communicating intensely and personally is more comforting for clients when their therapist can speak their native tongue. While many individuals in the United States are fluent in English, talking in the native tongue offers an advantage to culture and connection. Having a language barrier in mental health treatment can quickly set up unintentional boundaries or walls. 

Understanding why it is so important for therapists to speak in their native language can help enhance the outcomes of therapy in client-therapist interactions.

Language and Psychotherapy

The world of language is a beautiful thing. It is even more beautiful when people understand each other’s personalities and culture through their language. Implementing language in different fashions shapes environments and cultures that ultimately help each person adapt to situations and handle differences. However, when language is a barrier, it contributes to regression in identity formation or trust. 

Linguistics and subtle gestures are good for enhancing cultural symbolization, but they can also identify a language or cultural barrier between a therapist and a client. However, when the native language is fully used, it can be more effective in adopting the right tone of voice and inflection in psychotherapy. 

The world has different cultures, and vocabulary is always changing. Most people in the world speak more than one language, but they are generally more exposed to one language over another. When language matures, a therapist that understands the native language of their client can note the effect it has in therapy sessions. Additionally, there are often miscommunications when language is lost in translation because the therapist does not speak the native language of their clients. 

Since language is at the heart of all connections, it can bring therapy and counseling together. Understanding the ingredients behind language can help tailor the needs of each client individually and show them that they are heard. Speaking to a native language can enhance experiences and meaning while enforcing inspiration in connections.

Advantages of Speaking a Native Language

As a therapist or healthcare professional, learning about breaking language barriers can make all the difference in connecting with clients. Language brings individuals together, and when a therapist can speak the native language of their client, they can better grasp what the client is saying and how to address it in a relatable and professional manner. 

When someone speaks multiple languages, it can be difficult for others to follow the structure of the conversation. Breaking the language barrier with a therapist who speaks both languages can enhance communication and make it easier for the client and therapist to understand one another.

Another advantage of speaking a native language in mental health treatment is comfort. Those that have a hard time sharing their feelings in an unknown space may not have a strong sense of comfort. When a therapist implements the native language of the client, the sense of comfort can be more meaningful and authentic. Additionally, a therapist can relate to the client with heightened efficiency, and the client is more apt to let the therapist in because of the bond of language.

When speaking a non-native language, some clients feel that it is difficult to express their core constructs in their emotional being. They may be able to give indicators about how they are feeling, but in the context of the language they are using, they cannot express it in a manner that fully expresses the emotion behind it. When the therapist speaks their native language, both the client and therapist can interpret the unique situation and the emotions behind the expression. 

Therapists who speak native languages can deliver higher qualities of care for those who do not only speak English. Some therapists may see clients leave the office feeling a little inadequate or not fully motivated to move forward in their wellness journey because they do not feel that they can connect with their therapist. However, when a therapist speaks native languages, the clients can feel heard and know that their therapist is listening to them.

Creating Emotional Awareness and Depth

Eliminating a language barrier in therapy can impact emotional awareness and contribute to progression toward self-understanding. Clients who can share and express their lives to a therapist who understands them in their native language can feel more connected; it is as if they are sharing their experience with someone who understands their cultural and social history. 

Mental wellness requires a personal therapy journey for each individual, and a therapist who speaks the individual’s native languages can better shift the ground of their journey. A therapist who speaks native languages can enhance therapy experiences and encourage personal development, all while better understanding the intense emotions that come with mental health care. Clients on a personal wellness journey should feel safe and comfortable. 

When they can speak in their native language, the journey is smoother and more adjusted to meet their needs. Additionally, when a therapist can speak in a native tongue, they are more inclined to listen with grace, rather than trying to figure out what is being said with non-vocal cues or trying to figure out the underlying message of the conversation. It is vital to have therapists who speak native languages in mental healthcare spaces because it increases communication and meets the social needs of those seeking help.

At SokyaHealth, we understand how important removing the language barrier is for our therapists and our clients. We know how difficult it is to communicate feelings in English, and it can be even harder when there is a language barrier. Our team wants to help those who struggle with language barriers with a therapist who speaks their native language. We understand the importance of communication skills and can better serve our clients with heightened and effective results by extending professionalism in the native language of our clients. We want each of our clients to seek personal growth and understand the connection with their therapist in every situation. To that end, we implement a wellness plan with physicians and therapists who speak native languages and can deliver assurance to those who seek mental health care. For more information on why having a therapist who speaks a native language is important, contact SokyaHealth at (877) 840-6956.

More than 50% of Americans struggle with mental health.

Headlight is now collaborating with health plans and companies to make therapy more accessible and affordable. Speak to a Care Coordinator today.