Article published in:Ethics of Non-Professional Translation and Interpreting
Edited by Esther Monzó-Nebot and Melissa Wallace
[Translation and Interpreting Studies 15:1] 2020
► pp. 36–56
Self-care as an ethical responsibility
A pilot study on support provision for interpreters in human crises
This article presents a pilot research project which examined the effectiveness of remote, formal support, provided by Colleagues Across Borders, for volunteer interpreters in an immigration detention support NGO. We consider the occupational stress and susceptibility to vicarious traumatization and burnout for interpreters working in sensitive (e.g., refugee) contexts. It is argued that it is an ethical responsibility to keep oneself fit and well-prepared to perform interpreting assignments to the highest standards. The project offered an intervention of remote support for non-professional interpreters in a detention center who needed professional advice and emotional relief. Analysis of pre- and post-intervention focus groups and questionnaires indicates an improvement in self-care, resilience, confidence, and effectiveness after three support sessions, suggesting that a remote yet personal support program can mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma and burnout for non-professional and professional interpreters working in ethically challenging refugee contexts.
Keywords: burnout, professional pairing, ethical responsibility, remote support, self-care, resilience
Published online: 11 February 2020
Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA)
2011 Guidelines for Interpreting in Mental Health Settings. https://ausit.org/AUSIT/Documents/Mental_Health_Interpreting_Guidelines_for_Interpreters.pdf. Last accessed 10 December 2019.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
2018 Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Lutterworth). www.bacp.co.uk/events-and-resources/ethics-and-standards/ethical-framework-for-the-counselling-professions. Last accessed 21 October 2019.
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