Upon first meeting the consumer, both the service provider and the interpreter should introduce themselves, with an explanation of their roles. When presenting the role of the interpreter, it should be specified that they are present “not to add to the communication but to interpret what is being said” (State Government of Victoria, 2014, pg. 18). The consumer should also be informed on the purpose of the meeting and its process (such as pausing for interpretation).
Time should also be spent on explaining confidentiality. Confidentiality is a particularly important issue; if misunderstood, it can lead to the consumer resisting the use of an interpreter. It is important for consumers to understand that interpreters are bound by their code of ethics to treat everything that is said as confidential. It may take several sessions before consumers are satisfied that confidentiality is maintained within the therapeutic relationship. For this reason, it is valuable to revisit confidentiality in the first few appointments.
During the session, try to keep your sentences to one or two ideas. Pause regularly after you speak to allow the interpreter time to interpret. The process of interpreting cannot be rushed and patience is required.
Before ending the interview, service providers should provide the consumer with a summary of key points to ensure that they have understood the information that has been provided.