An exploratory study of bilingual health advocates experiences of working with psychologists and clients with mental health difficulties within a therapeutic context

Prof Doc Thesis


Lynch, Pamela 2006. An exploratory study of bilingual health advocates experiences of working with psychologists and clients with mental health difficulties within a therapeutic context. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsLynch, Pamela
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

Britain today is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society. In order to
provide an equitable service to non-English speaking service users, the provision of
language support is essential, and bilingual health advocates are often used to fulfil
this role. However, the role of the bilingual health advocate extends further than
simple language interpretation - they also seek to support and empower service users,
and this makes their role somewhat unique. To date, little thought has been given to
the psychological impact of working as a bilingual health advocate, and thus, the
present study aimed to redress this imbalance by examining the experiences of seven
bilingual health advocates working within a single service. Semi-structured interviews
were conducted with the advocates and the data was analysed using Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis (DPA). Four superordinate themes emerged which related
to the advocacy role, the challenges the advocates faced, how these challenges were
managed, and the wider impact of the work that the advocates do. The findings of the
research indicated that working with clients who are in distress was emotionally
challenging for all the bilingual health advocates. Equally challenging, however, were
service related issues, and the way in which the advocates perceived themselves to be
viewed by other health professionals. The advocates reported that these latter factors
had as much of a detrimental impact on their emotional wellbeing, as their direct work
with service users. A need for additional emotional and practical support was
identified, and the implications of the research findings for both clinical practice and
future research are discussed.

Year2006
Publication dates
PrintSep 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jul 2014
Additional information

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