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Title: Public service interpreters : the emotional and psychological impact of interpreting within public service settings
Author: Roberts, Gemma
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2015
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Professionals working within public services can experience emotional and psychological effects of working with people who are emotionally distressed, such as vicarious trauma and vicarious posttraumatic growth. Public service interpreters play a vital role in helping these professionals communicate effectively with people who are limited in their proficiency of the English language. However, limited research has been conducted into the emotional and psychological impact of public service interpreting in the UK. The aim of this study is to address this gap in the literature through gaining further understanding of the emotional and psychological effects of interpreting within public services using a constructivist grounded theory approach. Ten spoken-language interpreters, recruited through public service interpreting courses in south Wales, engaged in semi-structured interviews about their emotional and psychological experiences while interpreting in public service settings. Five themes were identified, relating to the nature of ‘Public services’; participants’ ‘Relationships with clients’; the ‘Emotional experience’; ‘Psychological changes’ and ‘Coping’. Participants’ experiences were characterised by the short-term experience of distressing emotions, such as anger and sadness, and longer-term psychological changes related to personal growth. The separation of personal and professional boundaries appeared to be a core mediating factor of the emotional and psychological impact of public service interpreting. These findings are discussed in relation to existing literature about the emotional and psychological impact of working with people who are emotionally distressed. The clinical and service delivery implications of this study’s findings include the need for the establishment of formal support systems for public service interpreters and the need for professionals working alongside interpreters to be trained to work with them. Recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology