The presence of two separate languages, each with its own lexical,
syntactic, semantic, and ideational components, can complicate
psychotherapy with proficient bilingual patients. If only one language is
used in therapy, some aspects of the patients emotional experience may be
unavailable to treatment; if both languages are used, the patient may use
language switching as a form of resistance to affectively charged material.
The authors suggest that monolingual therapists should carefully assess the
degree of language independence in bilinguals in order to minimize its
impact on therapy. They conclude that study of bilingual patients may
provide important insights into the nature of the therapeutic process.