Culture and Social Care

1st July 2011 / London
This one day conference will consider a number of issues which require consideration in order to be able to communicate effectively across cultures. Styles of communication can vary in several ways. Examples include the extent to which communication is implicit versus explicit, the extent to which emotions are displayed, the extent to which self disclosure is acceptable and the extent to which the focus is on the individual versus the collective. In addition, the manner in which distress is communicated can differ across cultures. Race and culture shapes how distress is communicated.

In some cultures metaphors are used to communicate distress. The body may be used as a metaphor and as a means of communicating distress. An example of this is where a person may complain of “the sinking heart” to denote low mood. In some cultures it is appropriate to somatise distress. The impact and meaning of different forms of non verbal communication may also vary. The cultural background of the clinician / therapist can also influence the clinical and social encounter. Understanding minority communication styles and patterns is then indispensable for social and health care professionals working with black and minority ethnic groups.

The conference will aim to address the following key areas:

  • What are the key considerations when communicating with service users and carers from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds?
  • What are the potential challenges clinicians may face and what are the possible solutions?
  • How do you establish the primary language/s spoken by a service user? What are the important issues to consider in non verbal communication?
  • How do you establish a communication style which the service user is comfortable with? What might the impact of gender, age or generational factors be on effective communication?
  • When should you involve an interpreter? What are the key considerations when working with an interpreter?
  • What can we learn via feedback from service users? In any interaction, how do you know whether or not you are communicating effectively with the other person?

The conference will critically advocate for cross cultural perspectives in understanding minority communication styles and how this knowledge can better enhance communication and practice for health and social care professionals working within multi-ethnic communities. Good practice guidance on producing written information including key considerations when translating written materials will also be explored.

Programme of the day

9.00 – 9.30 Registration, Tea & Coffee
9.30 – 10.40 Introduction & Chair

Culture Bound Values and Cross Cultural Communication in Health and Social Care Settings
Professor Lena Robinson

10.40 – 11.30 Not Lost in Translation: Getting the Best from Interpreting and Interpreters in your Clinical Practice
Dr. Patricia d’Ardenne
11.30 – 11.45 Tea & Coffee
11.45 – 12.30 Mother Tongue or Non-Native Language? Learning from Conversations with Bilingual/Multilingual Therapists About Working With Clients Who Do Not Share Their Native Language
Beverly Costa
12.30 – 1.00 Morning session Q&A
1.00 – 1.45 Lunch
1.45 – 2.35 Learning How to Ask. Cross-Cultural Communication in Mental Health Practice
Dr. Inga-Britt Krause
2.35 – 3.25 The Role of Advocacy and Interpretation Services in the Delivery of Quality Healthcare to Diverse Minority Communities in London
Professor Walid El Ansari
3.25 – 3.40 Tea & Coffee
3.40 – 4.30 WORKSHOP 1
Learning from Conversations with Bilingual/Multilingual Therapists

Beverly Costa
Towards Effective Communication in a Culturally Diverse Community’s Care System

Dr. Nundita Reetoo
4.30 – 4.45 Afternoon Q&A
4.45 – 5.00 Plenary, Closure & Evaluation sheets


Who Should attend?

This conference will be relevant to all professionals in the field of Mental Health and Social Care, including those from Local Authorities and NHS trusts across the UK, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Early Intervention Teams, CPN’s, OT’s, Social Workers, Chaplains, Community Faith Leaders & Healers, Equality Leads, Community Development Workers, Service User Representatives, Charities, Third Sector, Educational Establishments, Academics and Policy makers.


The Resource Centre
356 Holloway Road
N7 6PA

Tel: +44 (0)20 7700 0100

Conference Booking

Conference Brochure Conference Booking Forn
Conference Contact

Ahmed Qureshi (conference co-ordinator) tel. 07540 356 526
email us on: or visit us on


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