A Multilingual Glossary for PTSD Treatment

Interpreting in mental health settings presents various challenges for stakeholders, often related to cultural differences. To foster better communication between clinicians and patient-families regarding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a multi-disciplinary team of professionals from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, and Widener University collaborated to create a multilingual glossary for PTSD treatment. The speaker will share his experience of working on this project and interpreting in mental health settings. Although the glossary was in Arabic, Nepali, Keren, and Swahili, interpreters of any language will benefit from the discussion.

  1. To share about interpreter collaboration in creating a multilingual glossary for PTSD treatment
  2. To share about interpreter’s experience working in mental health settings
  3. To share about best practices in dealing with cultural differences.


SUBJECT AREAS: medical interpreters, medical terminology, mental health settings, best practices in mental health settings, assignment preparation

Mutaz (Matt) Al Mudaris

is an interpreter, translator, and linguist. Originally from Iraq, he has an MS in global and international education from Drexel University. He is certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) as an Arabic medical interpreter. He works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is a subject matter expert for CCHI. He worked as an Arabic annotator at the University of Pennsylvania, an interpreter and translator trainer in Jordan and Kuwait, and as a translator at the Iraqi Television Network.

Demand Control Schema & Teleological Decision-making

Robyn K. Dean, CI/CT, PhD

has been a nationally certified signed language interpreter for over thirty years with particular service in the field of healthcare. Her scholarship in decision-making and ethics in community interpreting is recognized internationally. Dr. Dean has over twenty publications, all of which focus on the theoretical and pedagogical frameworks used to advance the practice of community interpreters. Dr. Dean is currently an Associate Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she is the lead instructor on the institute’s postgraduate degree in healthcare interpretation.

Interpreters who work in community settings face ethically complex situations every day. Unfortunately, the profession has not been consistent in how it guides and supports interpreters in making the right decision. Most ethical codes in the profession frame ethical ideals as, “interpreters always...” and “interpreters never...”. Yet, how often is the phrase, “it depends on the situation...” uttered by interpreters? To add to the confusion, interpreters hear from trainers and colleagues that interpreters are just, “conduits” or should be “invisible”. Or interpreters hear the exact opposite: interpreters are “advocates” or they are “members of the team”.

Neither a list of rules nor a series of metaphors can effectively advance ethical thought and action in a practice profession. What is needed instead is a set of professional values and the skills needed to effectively apply those values in a particular context. A values-based framework effectively accounts for the complex work of interpreters do -- an does so in a manner that parallels other practice professions.

This presentation addresses the concerns of the current ethical dialogue in the field and instead introduces interpreters to a values-based, teleological process for effectively analyzing each assignment for contextual factors and decision consequences.

  1. To explore a values-based framework in the practice of interpretation
  2. To analyze ethical situations in context
  3. To further develop ethical insights

SUBJECT AREAS: medical interpreters, court interpreters, community interpreters, ethics, decision-making

Wellness and Self-care for Interpreters Working in Mental Health Settings

Dr. Siddharth conducted interviews of interpreters about their experiences in mental health encounters for her Master’s Thesis. She will be presenting her results and discuss ways of preventing burn out and improve wellness.

Learning goals:

  • To review literature on experience of interpreters
  • To discuss the experiences of interpreters in mental health encounters
  • To discuss important areas of self-care for interpreters

SUBJECT AREAS: self-care for interpreters, medical interpreters, court interpreters, community interpreters, mental health, best practices for interpreters

Dr. Meera Siddharth

is a Primary Care Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia-South Philadelphia and the CHOP Refugee Program. She completed her medical degree at Penn State College of Medicine, her residency at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, and her Master’s of Urban Bioethics at Temple University’s Katz School of Medicine. She has an interest in mental health, and is part of a collaboration between psychologists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians at CHOP to train pediatricians in mental health. She is also a member of the CHOP Ethics Committee and the PA-AAP DEI committee.

A Conversation on Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Sandra Lewis

is a Personal Energy Strategist connecting professionals with resources to recharge, re-fuel & make the journey from burnout to sustainable leadership & rewarding career impact. As a clinical psychologist, Yoga Nidra teacher and Qigong practitioner, Dr. Sandra has a unique ability to blend research and ancient wisdom into practical strategies. She is author of 'Life in 4-Part Harmony ~ Get Everything in Your Life to Work with Everything Else in Your Life'.

In this conversation, panelists will talk about the meaning of emotional intelligence, how emotional intelligence can help interpreters in increasing wellness and resilience in their daily work, and tips to cultivate emotional intelligence.

  1. To provide a definition of emotional intelligence
  2. How interpreters can rely on emotional intelligence as a means to increase wellness and resilience
  3. Tips to cultivate emotional intelligence


SUBJECT AREAS: medical interpreters, court interpreters, community interpreters, emotions in the workplace, standards of practice, emotional intelligence for interpreters

Dr. Olya Perevalova

completed her Master’s degree in Conference Interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and worked as an interpreter in Houston, TX, since then. In 2022, she defended her doctoral dissertation on building relationships in online education.