12. Bilingualism and Emotion: Implications for Mental Health

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Ines Martinovic and
  2. Jeanette Altarriba

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch12

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Martinovic, I. and Altarriba, J. (2012) Bilingualism and Emotion: Implications for Mental Health, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. University at Albany, State University of New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • bilingual therapy;
  • code-switching;
  • emotional expression;
  • interpreters in therapy;
  • language-specific techniques;
  • mental health

Summary

The chapter describes how bilinguals use language to express their emotions, how language is used to code past experiences, and how language-specific and culture-specific techniques can be used to enhance the therapeutic process for bilinguals. It discusses some of the problems and benefits of using interpreters in therapy, and offers suggestions for their training and education. The chapter also discusses how emotions are expressed in an individual's languages and reviews data relevant to emotional expression across languages. Cultural differences, utilization of mental health services by minorities, some barriers in treatment with bilinguals, and culturally specific techniques for therapy are also discussed in this chapter. Code-switching may be used as a tool to gain a clearer understanding of what an individual is attempting to convey, and can also be used as a distancing mechanism to probe into issues that may be too emotional in one of the bilingual's languages.