As the bilingual Spanish-English Latinx population in the United States increases, so will the need for culturally and linguistically competent mental health therapists. While past research has focused on providing culturally competent care, the role of language in the process of psychotherapy has received limited attention. This study aimed to comprehensively analyze the existing literature on bilingual Spanish-English Latinx clients’ and bilingual Spanish-English Latinx therapists’ experiences and perceptions within a bilingual psychotherapy setting and identify recommendations to enhance language proficiency. A systematic review was conducted and identified nine studies for inclusion. Results highlight seven themes focusing on bilingual Spanish-English Latinx clients, six themes related to bilingual Spanish-English Latinx therapists, and six themes focusing on recommendations to enhance language proficiency. Limitations of the reviewed studies are considered, and recommendations and implications for future research and practices are discussed for language use in a bilingual psychotherapeutic setting, which may prove valuable for therapists working with bilingual clients regardless of their bilingualism.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hispanic Americans; Latin Americans; Hispanic American mental health personnel; Bilingualism; Counseling; Psychotherapy

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Miguel E. Gallardo