Interpreting in mental health, roles and dynamics in practice

Resera, Elena and Tribe, Rachel and Lane, Pauline (2015) Interpreting in mental health, roles and dynamics in practice. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health, 8 (2). pp. 192-206. ISSN 1754-2871

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In mental health, communication is the sine qua non, not only for considering a diagnosis, but also for developing a treatment plan. Words, on the one hand, and the relationship between the clinician and the service user, on the other, are two of the main components of mental health and therapeutic treatment. The presence of an interpreter has the potential to have an effect on the dynamics of the mental health or therapeutic encounter. This may pose a series of challenges and opportunities for all three members of the triad. This paper reports on a study conducted with interpreters working with recent migrants, mainly refugees and asylum seekers at two organisations based in the South of England. Two focus-groups with interpreters were conducted. Several differences between interpreting in mental health and interpreting in other settings were noted by the interpreters. Five overarching themes were identified in this study. These were: the role of the interpreter in the mental health encounter, the dynamics within the therapeutic triad, the interpreter-clinician relationship, power and alliances within the room and the personhood of the interpreter. The first two themes are presented within this paper, although the themes are not entirely discrete categorisations.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: interpreter, mental health, challenges and opportunities
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 10:36
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:15

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