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    Therapists' experiences of working with language interpreters

    Raval, H. and Smith, Jonathan J. (2003) Therapists' experiences of working with language interpreters. International Journal of Mental Health 32 (2), pp. 6-31. ISSN 0020-7411.

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    While practitioners working in the mental health care context are making greater use of interpreters, there remains a paucity of literature that is informed by a critiqued theoretical, clinical, empirical, and research grounding. This study employed a qualitative methodology and used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to elicit an in-depth understanding of child and adolescent mental health practitioners’ experiences in carrying out assessments and therapeutic work with the help of an interpreter. Participants spoke about their reliance on language, and how the process of communication lost important attributes through translation. A striking quality about this work was related to the difficulties the participants experienced in being able to establish a constructive working alliance with an interpreter. This in turn had a negative effect on being able to establish a working alliance with families. The interventions offered by practitioners tended to become simplified. Such findings lead to a closer questioning of why these difficulties occur. It is suggested that addressing structural inequalities and training issues, and incorporating good practice guidelines can go a long way toward ensuring improved clinical services for many minority ethnic service users needing the help of interpreters during mental health consultations.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2020 13:22
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:58


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