WannaBeDrMe

10+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2008
296
0
Status
I've been in the field at the masters level for a bit and I've really been considering this issue hardcore as it relates continued practice. There is a definite need, in my area, for clinicians who can communicate with our immigrant population. I've seen ads lately requesting applications from individuals who speak Spanish, Korean, and French (weird... wouldn't expect French).

Do any of you plan on running a bilingual/multilingual practice? If so, out of that group, are any of you native English speakers? I'm concerned about competency issues that might arise given the fact that I am a native English speaker. As I learn more about potential challenges, I'll decide whether or not to pursue this as a goal... and if so, I'll of course do further study on particular cultural/language issues.

For those of you who have already considered this or encountered challenges, I'd love to hear how you've addressed the issues (if any) and what's the best way to prepare to expand in this way. Or, if you are of the opinion that professional and client should share the same language of origin, I'd love to hear that thought process broken down as well... My personal bias might lean a little more toward caution but professionally, it could be an asset to the community to at least keep my language skills practiced.

Thanks.
 

psydd

10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2008
64
0
New York City
Status
Pre-Psychology
yeah, i would absolutely love to work with the spanish-speaking population. i'm natively english-speaking myself.

i have conversational spanish skills right now, but i'm looking to hone those as much as i can over the next few years. really throughout my life, though. fluency is definitely a goal.

i just finished up a minor in spanish, and i work with a spanish-speaking woman. she and i actually just made a deal to exclusively speak to each other in spanish while we're at work. i think it'll end up helping me a lot, because speaking the language is my biggest problem at this point. i can read and write it fairly well. also, i listen to spanish radio nearly every time i'm in my car, which is often. i've heard this will help, as well as reading books in spanish, even if they're just simple children's books. any little bit helps. i've also considered getting that rosetta stone program, but i've heard it's expensive, so i'm not sure if it's really worth my while right now.

my professor (PsyD) told me that people underestimate the importance of being bilingual in this profession, and specifically in regard to spanish. probably because i'm in new york city, but it's definitely a really positive thing no matter where you're located. he explained that he has found that you don't necessarily need to know all of the ins and outs of the language in order to practice with the clientele, but a general knowledge of spanish has proven invaluable to him so far.
 

PsyDr

Psychologist
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2005
3,344
3,597
Status
Psychologist
it's a great way to make a lot of money.


the professional list servs are always asking for bilingual clinicians. they come up with the strangest requests (e.g., humong speaking forensic pediatric neuropsychologist).


also a great way to get psychometrician jobs. my spanish speaking tester makes double what everyone else does.
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
9
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
¡Claro q sííí!

My first language is English but I have spent time abroad learning Spanish and have maintained relationships with many people from my study abroad location. Additionally, I use my Spanish skills daily with clients in my [clinical] job. While I certainly make mistakes, native speakers have consistently commented that I speak fluently and we fully understand one another. I am continuing to practice my Spanish skills but need to work on the finer points of the grammar -- especially in terms of being consistent with it. (Or so my native, bilingual novia mexicana would say, lol.)
 
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