English Proficiency

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Yakushko, O. (2010). Clinical work with limited English proficiency clients: A phenomenological exploration. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41, 449-455. doi:10.1037/a0020996

This research article focused on therapists’ perceptions of clinical and personal characteristics and contextual factors that may influence mental health service delivery to limited English proficiency (LEP) clients through interpreters. Particularly, this study attempted to understand these factors by exploring the lived experiences of clinicians who have worked with LEP individuals through translators. Analysis of the data collected provided two recurring themes that revolved around the personality and training of both therapist and interpreter. Based on the findings of this research, the author suggested consideration of clinical care for LEP clients, who may be inadvertently marginalised from effective psychotherapeutic intervention, would demonstrate a commitment to social justice.

The study under review clearly meets the criteria for qualitative research for the purpose of understanding a complex issue in greater detail as suggested by Liamputtong (2009). Liamputtong (2009) remarked that an understanding of the components and contextual issues could only be achieved by having direct conversation with people who have lived the experience the researcher sought to investigate. The author states that the ‘phenomenological study sought to contribute to understanding these factors by examining the lived experiences of eight therapists skilled in working with LEP individuals through interpreters.” Clearly, one of the strengths of the use of the phenomenological structure is the acceptability of a small number of participants under investigation, which were eight in this case. Further, this methodological framework afforded the researcher to analyse the data thematically, which identified issues that centred on personality and training of both therapists and...
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