Applied Interpreting Series 2015: Counseling

Presented by Joe Sapienza
Featuring Mary J. DuParri, MA LPC

September 26th, 2015
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
25 East Frisco Avenue, Webster Groves, MO 63119
.7 RID and Missouri CEUs

This workshop is open to interpreters of all levels.

Interpreting in a family counseling setting is often a challenging and intimate situation for interpreters, regardless of skill level. Counseling is a dynamic experience; as complex and individual as each client and each therapist. Adding an interpreter to the mix changes those dynamics for all parties on both a conscious and unconscious level.  Care must be taken to consider the type of counseling an interpreter is being consigned to work and whether one should or should not accept the assignment.  Marriage counseling, family counseling, divorce counseling, individual counseling, youth and older adult counseling etc. each have situational possibilities that must be considered by the interpreter before working in that setting.  Working with and potentially educating the therapist on the interpreter’s job and role are vital components of these assignments.  During the course of this workshop, participants will learn about, discuss, and practice interpreting in these settings.

This is a hands-on workshop.  Live, mock counseling sessions will be enacted during the workshop.

The workshop will include (1) presentations by Joe and Mary,    (2) audience to presenter discussions, (3) hands-on “interpreting” and (4) question and answer sessions.


Joe’s presentation will include:

  • Interpreting insight for this challenging setting.
  • Thoughts on proper attire.
  • Considerations before the assignment.
  • Considerations after the assignment.
  • Establishing the interpreter role with the therapist
  • “Teaming” with the therapist
  • Team interpreting
  • Recognizing interpreter vulnerability to Vicarious Trauma
  • Questions and answers

Mary’s presentation will include:

  • Understanding the goal of therapy
  • Managing the interpreter fears of being observed while you interpret
  • Negotiating the dynamics of working with individuals, couples, and families
  • Does working with a “third wheel” matter?
    • Addressing confidentiality issues.
    • Handling the feelings of the interpreter.
    • Handling the feelings of the client who is disclosing.
  • Creating clarity for both client and therapist (via interpreter voicing and signing)
  • Dealing with Vicarious Trauma in the session and after


Throughout the workshop, time will be allotted to audience questions, thoughts, concerns and problems.  This is a workshop devoted to learning and enrichment.  Joe and Mary seek to create a safe environment for practice, fine-tuning and improvement of your interpreting skills.


This is a hands-on workshop.  Mary will conduct several “sessions” throughout the workshop with live “clients” for whom you will interpret to garner real world practice and experience.  In an effort to provide everyone with some measure of “safe practicing”, participants will interpret each “session”, all at the same time.  Allaying one’s trepidation that others might be watching us as we interpret— rarely discussed as a workshop topic— will be addressed.  Interpreting with visual and auditory distractions of other participants “moving” while you practice will give you valuable experience for ANY of your future assignments in and of itself.

Everyone must bring an electronic device capable of making video recordings, such as an Android or Apple smart phone/tablet, a digital camera, a video camera, or laptop, etc. Everyone will be supplied with a mini tripod needed to hold phones and tablets and cameras.  You will record yourself interpreting selected portions of the mock sessions for self evaluation and critique.

Having all workshop participants engaging in the mock interpreting and self video critiques are integral portions of this activity and are required to complete the workshop.


Throughout the workshop, time will be devoted to questions and answers.  This will be conducted in a safe and anonymous manner.

Optionally, you can submit one of your recordings for a private mentor critique of your work at no additional charge.

DO NOT sign up for this workshop if you don’t plan to engage in these activities.