Working with Multilingual Clients, with and without an interpreter
A one-day workshop with Beverley Costa
London, 2 July 2016 (Saturday)
At this practical workshop that would be especially useful for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors across modalities, Beverley draws on her extensive experience to elucidate how we can work most effectively with multilingual clients – with or without the benefit of an interpreter. Through case studies and practical examples, she acknowledges that while multilingual work can be demanding; the language gap can, in fact, sometimes be a source of creativity and therapeutic potential.
For example, the workshop will refer to research which demonstrates that people are able to access emotions in a second language that have been repressed in the client’s native culture and language and that traumatic scenes experienced in one’s native language may be explored more readily by switching to a second language in order to gain sufficient emotional distance.
The workshop also explores the challenges involved in working with interpreters. Traditionally, clinical work and psychotherapy is conducted between two people and the idea of incorporating a third person into the therapeutic relationship can be unsettling. The workshop will provide ideas and a reflective space to think about the best way in which a collaborative relationship can be formed between the Interpreter and the Practitioner for the best possible outcome for clients. Specifically, the workshop explores the following topics:
- The relationship between the practitioner and interpreter and the implications this has for the therapeutic alliance
- The ways of working therapeutically as a triad rather than as a dyad
- The extent, limitations and professional boundaries of roles in such a triad
- Communicating effectively with interpreters about the nature of therapeutic change
Using case examples that highlight the topics above and drawing from contemporary research, Beverley also presents a series of guidelines and suggested code of practice for working in multilingual settings.
About the speaker
Beverley Costa is a UKCP registered psychotherapist. She was born in London and raised in a bicultural and bilingual family. After training and working as a group and individual psychotherapist and psychodramatist, she founded Mothertongue multi-ethnic counselling service in 2000 and she has been its director until the present day. The organisation has developed a model for working therapeutically with Mental Health Interpreters and they now have a dedicated team of Mental Health Interpreters who work across Berkshire.
Mothertongue has won a number of awards including the Award for Excellence in the Practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and The Queen’s Award for Volunteering. Beverley’s research with Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele won the 2013 BACP Equality and Diversity Research Award.
Beverley has published a number of articles and peer-reviewed papers and chapters on the experience and impact of therapy conducted across languages. Her doctorate documented the genesis and development of Mothertongue multi ethnic counselling service. Beverley began the project, Colleagues Across Borders, in 2013. This project provides voluntary support, via Skype, to psychosocial teams working with refugees in the Middle East.
In November 2015 she produced The Session at The Soho Theatre, London, a play she commissioned about a couple in a cross language relationship and the impact of migration on family life.
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