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Working with Interpreters : Breaking down the barriers

  • Ignatian Spirituality Centre 35 Scott Street Glasgow G3 6PE (map)


‘Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country, the translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world’. Italo Calvino, Italian journalist and writer

Are you working therapeutically or in a support role with people who need community language Interpreters? Are you a psychological therapist, counsellor, mental health worker, social worker, support worker, advocacy worker or work in a related role? Would you like to explore how to work effectively across language in a mental health setting?

Working effectively with Interpreters requires understanding and skill, flexibility and creativity. This experiential and exploratory day is a space to bring our experience of working with Interpreters – both it’s dilemmas and rewards- to explore how we can make our practice more effective while supporting our clients, our interpreters and ourselves.

This day will be facilitated by Norma and Elise from Mandala Consultants and we will be joined the aftternoon by Nana Katempa professional community language Interpreter. See below for our bio's.


Increase skills, knowledge and confidence of working effectively in partnership with Interpreters in a therapeutic or support setting.


Explore good practice principles when communicating through an Interpreter in a therapeutic setting

Experience all roles in the Worker, interpreter, client triad and explore how to strengthen the three way relationship

Develop skills in effective communication through an Interpreter

Consider dilemmas, grey areas and challenges when working across languages and explore options to respond positively and effectively

Develop insight into the Interpreters experience


Norma McKinnon Fathi is a UKCP Registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist and a qualified Community Worker. Norma has 20 years’ experience working with vulnerable people who have experienced trauma including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, childhood neglect, violence, conflict and torture. For the past 11 years her clinical work has been with survivors of torture and she previously managed psychological services at a national charity. Norma works in private practice and is a co-founder at Mandala Consultants.

Elise Marshall is a person-centred counsellor, supervisor and trainer and a registered, accredited member of BACP. Elise is also a professional massage therapist and qualified yoga teacher. She has over 14 years working with survivors of trauma including with those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence, domestic abuse and torture. For ten years she worked as a psychological therapist with survivors of torture for a national charity where she also designed and delivered training. Elise is an honorary lecturer at Glasgow University School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. Elise also has a small private practice as a counsellor, supervisor, yoga teacher and massage therapist as well as providing long term counselling for a small charity working with male adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She is a co-founder of Mandala Consultants.

Nana Katempa is a professional freelance Interpreter who has been working in mental health, support and therapy settings in Glasgow for over 15 years. Nana has worked with chidlren, adults, families and groups in a wide range of situations which also include court, social work, legal and health appointments. Nana is able to Interpret between 5 languages; English, Swahili, Lingala, French and Bemba. Nana has previous experience of training delivery to a range of groups on the subject of working with Interpreters.


Tea, Coffee and biscuits will be provided throughout the day

Lunch is not provided on this day- there are shops and cafes within a short walk of the venue where lunch can be purchsed

Cost: £105