'I feel it’s something that irritates her’: Emotions in interpreted trauma therapy sessions

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Interpreting is increasingly being used in psychotherapy,
but the presence of an interpreter in the therapeutic
encounter is an under-researched area. This paper
examines interpreter-mediated trauma therapy with
Danish-speaking therapists treating Arabic-speaking
patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). We focus on the notion of ‘emotion discourse’
as a broad term covering how therapists and patients
talk about emotional experience, and how interpreters
negotiate and mediate it. The data consist of three
group interviews with ten therapists and six excerpts
from two audio-recorded interpreter-mediated
therapy sessions. The detailed interaction analysis
explores (1) the therapists’ expectations about interpreting
emotion discourse and (2) the interactional
strategies that the interpreters use to negotiate and
render the interaction between therapists and patients
who speak different languages. The findings show that
the therapists have clear expectations about what
needs to be translated and how, but these expectations
remain hidden to the interpreters. The interpreters
use various interpreting strategies and orient towards
meaning rather than towards verbatim translations.
We conclude by recommending that both therapists
and interpreters engage in a professional collaboration
that requires not only training and awareness of
mutually relevant information, but also an updated
view of interpreter-mediated interaction as a dynamic
collaborative process.
TidsskriftCommunication & Medicine : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Healthcare, Ethics and Society
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)91-104
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 2022

ID: 273639595