The role of interpreters in accessing psychological support and developing relationships in mental health and Deafness

Wedlock, Laura and Fletcher, Ian and Chatzidamianos, Gerasimos (2017) The role of interpreters in accessing psychological support and developing relationships in mental health and Deafness. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The Deaf population are vulnerable to experiencing mental health difficulties. A qualitative meta-synthesis, reported in section one of this thesis, sought to explore the experiences of deaf individuals who access mental health services and clinicians who provide those services. The synthesis considered the personal, social, communicative, service and professional factors that influence service accessibility for deaf people. It contends that current provision of mental health services does not meet client need. Consequently, the review considers how access to sign language interpreters, education, and collaboration between deaf clients, interpreters and mental health services are instrumental in generating change and improving access. In a further exploration of the experience of mental health care for deaf people, the research paper, reported in section two of the current thesis, examined the role of the British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter in the communication of compassion and development of therapeutic relationships between a mental health clinician and their deaf client. Findings identified that the therapeutic process relies on collaboration, continuity and trust between all individuals; The existence and nurturing of a ‘triangle of care’ between client, clinician and interpreter leads to stronger therapeutic relationships and better therapeutic outcomes. The research concluded that interpreters must be viewed as part of the clinical team and be supported in their role. Deaf clients must be involved in service development, and clinicians must be willing to improve their knowledge and adapt their practice. The critical appraisal, reported in section three of the current thesis, allowed an opportunity to reflect on personal and professional learning, the research process and results. The importance of reflexivity in qualitative research was considered, alongside research strengths and limitations.

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Thesis (PhD)
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07 Sep 2017 09:22
Last Modified:
04 Jun 2024 23:33