Cecilia is a 17-year-old immigrant student who emigrated from Mexico with her cousin two years ago to reunite with her mother and younger sister. She speaks Nahuatl, an indigenous language from Central Mexico, with her family. She speaks Spanish with other Latinos, and she speaks limited English with those who don’t speak Spanish. Cecilia misses her grandmother who she left behind in Mexico. She has been feeling depressed, and she was recommended for counseling.
Which of the following counselors is most likely to foster relational resiliency in their therapeutic relationship with Cecilia?
Alina is a fluent bilingual, 34-year-old Latina who immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was 17. She speaks Spanish with her family and her partner, English with most of her friends, and she uses both Spanish and English at work.
Joanne is a fluent bilingual, 42-year-old, white Italian-American who was born in NY and learned Spanish in high school and college (she double majored in Psychology and Spanish). After graduate school she spent 10 years working for a community-based mental health agency in Puebla, Mexico before returning to the United States. She speaks English with her family, partner, and friends. She uses both Spanish and English at work.
Paola is a fluent bilingual, 28-year-old, Latina who was born in NY. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in their late teens. Paola speaks Spanish and English with her parents and partner, English with her siblings and friends, and she uses both Spanish and English at work.
In this session we will explore the relationship between bilingualism and the therapeutic alliance. We will explore counselor credibility, including the experience of bilingual counselors counseling in their second language.
The authors of the assigned reading (Ivers, Ivers, and Duffey) end their article by mentioning something that Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) wrote in their Scientific American article. According to Hawking and Mlodinow "the city council of Monza, Italy, barred curved gold-fish bowls. The sponsors of the measure complained that it constituted animal cruelty to permanently condemn the fish to a distorted view of reality. Hawking and Mlodinow (2010) proceeded to make the point that humankind’s perceptions of reality may be similarly distorted." (Ivers, Ivers, & Duffey, 2013, p. 231)
Do you agree? Can our perceptions of reality become distorted?
And if so, how can our perceptions come to match reality?