Intercultural mediation: Reconstructing hermes – the messenger gets a voice

Adil Qureshi, Hilda Wara Revollo, Francisco Collazos, Jannat El Harrak, Cristina Visiers, María Del Mar Ramos, Miguel Casas

Research output: Chapter in BookChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


© Cambridge University Press 2011. Editors' introduction Cultural competence training deals with making clinicians aware of the need to take cultural factors into account while making assessments, history-taking and planning management. Good clinical practice must be culturally appropriate, taking into consideration factors related to diversity such as culture, religion, gender and sexual orientation. One of the major aspects of cultural awareness training is being aware of how to use interpreters. Sometimes culture brokers are used: these are individuals who belong to a particular cultural group and liaise between their group and the mental health services. Qureshi et al. describe the developments of intercultural mediators and advise clinicians on how to use them to the best possible effect. Communication across cultures can be affected by cultural differences but it becomes even more complicated when there is another person present in the therapeutic encounter. Communication occurs at different levels – verbal and non-verbal, through expression of emotions and the use of language. Intercultural mediation involves both message conversion and cultural classification. Thus, clinicians must be aware of its impact in therapeutic encounters and use it appropriately. Introduction: Despite the increased recognition of the need for preparation of mental health professionals to work with culturally different patients, cultural competence training, generally speaking, remains an objective rather than a reality in most professional preparation programmes (Bhui et al., 2007). Individual cultural competence, even when pertinent training is available, does not guarantee that a clinician will be able to communicate and work effectively with his or her patient.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMigration and Mental Health
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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