Mental health interpreters play a crucial role in clinical support for refugees by providing a bridge between client and clinician. Yet research on interpreters’ experiences and perspectives is remarkably sparse. In this study, semi-structured interviews with mental health interpreters explored the experience of working in clinical settings with refugees. We conducted inductive analysis informed by a reflexive thematic analytic approach. Our analysis identifies interpreters’ pleasure in being part of people’s recovery, offset by the pain of misrecognition by clinicians that signals low self-worth and invisibility. Three sites of tension that create dilemmas for interpreters are identified: maintaining professional boundaries, managing privately shared information, and recognizing cultural norms. These findings are discussed in terms of the implications for clinicians working with interpreters, with a focus on the importance of a relationship of trust founded on recognition of the interpreters’ role and the unique challenges they face.
- asylum seeker
- reflexive thematic analysis
- therapeutic alliance
- United Kingdom
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
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Dataset for "(Mis)recognition in the Therapeutic Alliance: The Experience of Mental-Health Interpreters Working with Refugees in UK Clinical Settings"
Blackwood, L. (Creator) & Hassan, H. (Creator), University of Bath, 31 Oct 2020