+34 658 13 71 65 ps.diego.duran@gmail.com

Expressing our sensations, feelings, thoughts, and intuitions is never an easy task. Sharing these intimate impressions with someone else can be even more challenging. Moreover, doing so in a non-native language requires substantial time, patience, and a deep immersion into another culture. This is when working with a clinical psychologist specializing in Bilingual Couples Therapy might be transformative. As a practitioner fluent in both English and Spanish, I’ve witnessed the profound impact bilingual therapy has on couples navigating situations where both parties are able to speak their mind In their own terms. 

At its core, couples therapy is about fostering understanding, empathy, and connection. When both partners feel deeply understood, not just for their words but for the emotions and cultural nuances behind them, therapy can reach depths that are otherwise unattainable. The ability to offer therapy in both English and Spanish is not merely a professional credential; it’s a bridge connecting two different worlds. Bilingual couple therapy offers a space where these cultural worldviews are not just acknowledged but integrated. This is when parts of the culture of the other become our own.  

 

Inevitably, culture profoundly shapes our ideas about love, family, conflict, and companionship. Whether it’s navigating the dynamics of a bicultural relationship or understanding the role of family in American, British or Latinx cultures, bilingual couples therapy offers a space where these differences are not just acknowledged but integrated. 

In other words, if I had to resume my aim as a Bilingual Couples Therapist, I would just say that my purpose is to make couples feel at Home.

Bilingual Couple Therapy

Benefits of Bilingual Couples Therapy

Enhanced Communication

Bilingual therapy breaks down language barriers, ensuring that both partners can express themselves in the language they feel more comfortable (in many cases that is a mix). When we can just speak our mind, letting words come up naturally, instead of translating in our heads, we feel more like ourselves. This authenticity fosters a deeper level of understanding and empathy that is crucial for a healthy relationship. For this reason, within couples therapy practice, it’s important to progressively incorporate both languages. Acknowledging is to honor the profound connection between our mother tongue and our personal and collective identities. 

Cultural Sensitivity and Understanding

A bilingual clinical psychologist brings understanding of cultural nuances that can significantly influence relationships. What is “normal” or “akward” in one culture, might not be so in another. Taking into account different sensitivities allows us to consider the cultural backgrounds of each partner as an important component of the healing process. 

Increased Comfort and Trust

For many, speaking in their native language brings a sense of comfort and security. In the therapeutic setting, this comfort translates into a higher level of trust, openness and attunement. 

Make couples feel at Home

To belong is to have an identity that is welcome and accepted. The feeling of belonging is geographical, social and, foremost, emotional. Who we are has more to do with who I am with and who I chose to be with than where we are. When we allow people to introduce their language, jargon, music, customs, part of their “strangeness” dissolves and they can feel at ease and truly accepted as they are. When you are in a relationship with someone from another place, and you would like to accept your spouse as she/he is, then you start having a dual-belonging. 

Being myself an uruguayan immigrant living in Bilbao (Spain), I understand that my role as a bilingual clinical psychologist extends beyond the mere translation; it’s about finding a common ground. In this liminal space, understanding and empathy are the lingua franca. 

Ps. Diego Durán - Bilingual Couples Therapy Inglés and Spanish