ERIC Number: ED272019
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-May
Reference Count: 0
The Need for Foreign Language in the Psychological Professions.
Aruffo, Sylvia Dawn
Four therapist-client interview transcripts of one outpatient drawn from the files of a state mental health clinic are presented, with some narrative interpretation, to illustrate the need for foreign language skills in the psychological professions. The case is of Rosa, a non-English-speaking Hispanic woman referred by a Spanish-speaking social worker to a non-Spanish-speaking psychologist. Each session was conducted with a different interpreter: the woman's nephew, her husband, a professional translator, and an interpreter called to assist over the telephone in an emergency. A psychiatrist brought in to provide medication is also involved. The incidents indicate several related problems: the therapist's interview of the nephew instead of the woman, the woman's reluctance to speak freely with relatives present, the unreliability of information given to the therapist and to the woman by relatives, and the difficulty of interpreting over the telephone. When a Spanish-speaking psychiatrist on the hospital staff interviewed Rosa and continued caring for her, the situation improved. It is concluded that the lack of a Spanish-speaking professional to communicate directly with the woman resulted in unnecessary trauma, loss of time in solving the problem, and difficulty in addressing the problems directly, in addition to the problems created by a third party. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Eastern Michigan University Conference on Languages for Business and the Professions (4th, Dearborn, MI, May 2-4, 1985); see FL 015 835.