COMMIT TO CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT WITH MONTHLY GROUP REFLECTIVE PRACTICE SESSIONS
BEING AN INTERPRETER IS A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY
As interpreters, we make decisions every day that impact people's lives, careers, relationships, and health. Sometimes we feel great about our decisions, sometimes not so much, but there is always something to learn.
We owe it to ourselves and to the people we work with to reflect on our work.
FACILITATED REFLECTIVE PRACTICE IS JUST THE PLACE FOR THIS
Group Reflective Practice is a constructive dialogue where interpreters examine ethical decision-making using the framework of the Demand Control Schema (DCS) and DCS-based supervision.
Reflective Practice sessions are facilitated by an IIRAS*-trained Supervision Leader, and are a space where interpreters support each other in learning, growth, and processing the challenges we encounter on (and sometimes off) the job.
Confidentiality is extremely important to our work and the communities we serve, but it doesn't mean you should not reflect on your work. Facilitated Reflective Practice offers a space where interpreters can receive support in a confidential manner.
*Interpreting Institute for Reflection-in-Action & Supervision.
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BENEFITS FOR INTERPRETERS
Whether you're a brand new interpreter or have decades of experience, research has shown that DCS-based Reflective Practice can benefit you, your practice, and the communities you work with
A MORE NUANCED UNDERSTANDING OF ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING
INCREASED PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS & ACCOUNTABILITY
IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLEAGUES
SUPPORT, VALIDATION, STRESS MANAGEMENT, WELLBEING
FILLING THE GAPS LEFT BY EDUCATION, STANDARDS, AND ETHICAL CODES
MORE OPTIONS FOR RESPONDING TO THE DEMANDS OF INTERPRETING
"I love knowing I have a place to take the questions and ethical dilemmas I run into in my work. I always leave these sessions with new tools, ideas, and perspectives. Working through cases together reminds me I'm not alone, and makes me feel reinvigorated about my work as an interpreter."
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do Reflective Practice sessions look like? What is supervision?
A: Each Reflective Practice session uses the DCS* structure to guide participants through the reflective process. Participants take turns sharing an ethical dilemma they’ve encountered in their work (a “case”) and an IIRAS–trained Supervision Leader will guide them and other group participants through the DCS framework.
The goal is not to judge or evaluate the decisions made by the interpreter, but to reflect on the demands of the job they were responding to, the options for how to respond to a set of demands, and to consider the consequences and values involved in those options.
This structure and process is often called “supervision” or “DCS-based supervision,” which might call to mind a workplace supervisory relationship or hierarchy. These sessions actually more closely resemble case conferencing that is used by medical providers and other practice professionals.
*DCS was developed by Robyn Dean & Robert Pollard
Q: Do I need experience with this type of structure before I join?
How will I know what to do?
A: You do not need any background or experience with DCS to participate in group Reflective Practice sessions. Each session will be facilitated by a trained Supervision Leader who will be able to guide participants through the framework and provide further explanation on the process as needed.
Your registration also includes access to a course on the basics of DCS- if this structure is new for you or if you need a refresher, we ask that you take a little time to familiarize yourself with the content before your first session.
The most important thing is to come with an open mind, ready to support your colleagues and yourself as we share the challenges we encounter in this work.
Q: Do we get CEUs?
A: Yep! You will receive CEUs for each session you attend. We take care of everything.
Q: Will I see the same people every time?
A: Yes! Our Reflective Practice sessions will occur once a month, and when you register you will commit to either Sunday or Tuesday sessions for the quarter. This allows us to create consistency in the groups, and you should be seeing most of the same faces each month.
If you have a group of colleagues or employees who are interested in having their own session, email us at email@example.com and we can work with you to set up a private session that fits your schedules and unique needs.
Q: What if I can’t make one of my sessions?
Q: How do we ensure confidentiality while using this approach?
A: Confidentiality is very important in our work and to the communities we serve. It is possible (and important!) to participate in supervision and obtain support around our decisions without breaching our consumers’ and colleagues’ rights to confidentiality.
We accomplish this in two ways: first, we will practice sharing a case in a way that doesn’t require sharing any identifiable information. Second, everything shared within our sessions will remain confidential and won’t leave the group. Part of the role of the Supervision Leader is to ensure that these practices are followed.
Q: What qualifies as a “case”?
A: Any ethical dilemma encountered related to interpreting work can be a case. A case could be very specific to a job setting you experienced, or sometimes we focus on a pattern that has arisen. It could also be a more general situation like trying to decide your rates for direct billing work, or technology needed for working remotely.
Cases can be from a recent experience, or sometimes a case giver will want to unpack an event that happened a while ago that still isn’t sitting right with them. See below for more examples.
Q: What if I don’t have a case to discuss?
A: Every group benefits from a diversity of cases and presenters, but no one will be required to present a case if they are not comfortable. Quite often someone comes to a session thinking they don’t have any issue ‘big’ enough to discuss, but every topic can result in beneficial conversations for everyone in the group.
We will provide some prompts to help you brainstorm cases throughout the month you could bring to your next session. Each session is only two hours, and depending on the size of the group we likely will not have enough time for everyone to present a case in every session. So, much of the time you will participate, listen, and support others in their cases.
While receiving support around your own case can be incredibly helpful, most participants find that being in a listening and support role is equally beneficial.
Every interpreter is unique, and every case discussion will be different. Often the starting place is something that has been on your mind or an experience you feel conflicted about.
The Supervision Leader is there to guide you through the case and help you identify the component that is causing the most stress.
Here are just a few examples of where a case might start:
"I had a job last week that I thought I was qualified for, but it quickly went sideways. I got through it, but I left with my confidence shaken and questioning my every decision. I'm not even sure what I could have done differently."
"I work with a particular team interpreter fairly regularly, and we can't seem to get on the same page. I've tried to talk with them about how they prefer to team, how the job went, and how we might do things differently, but I feel like they're just shutting me down. I'm concerned about how our dynamic is impacting our consumers."
"I have been working as a staff interpreter, but I'm feeling the itch to make the switch to freelance. I'm scared to make the leap and put myself out there. I have been stressing out about the unpredictability, paperwork, and lack of support."