An audit of the organisation Mothertongue multi-ethnic counselling service

Costa, Beverley (2017) An audit of the organisation Mothertongue multi-ethnic counselling service. [Doctorate by public works]


An examination of the effects, impact and political relevance of a culturally and linguistically sensitive therapy service rooted in the community is the central purpose of this statement. The service considered is Mothertongue multi-ethnic counselling service. The paper discusses Mothertongue's formation, development and journey so far. It also gives examples of the impact it has had and the future it envisages. The development of the service is tracked alongside an environment and local needs, which are constantly changing. Consideration is given to the way in which it has developed its own therapeutic model which draws on theories of attachment, acculturation, multilingualism, psychoanalytic concepts of splitting and integration, and methodologies of community development, research methods of action research and experiential learning.

It explores the constraints of the real world (such as finance) and reconfigures them as enabling boundaries. It considers the barriers faced by people from black and minority communities in accessing mental health services. It uses examples of specific projects (the Volunteering and the Mental Heath Interpreting Service, the Cross Cultural Parent Groups and Relationship Counselling, for example) to illustrate the methods used to negotiate these barriers.

It examines and evaluates epistemologies with particular reference to postmodernist critiques of social constructionism and examinations of power dynamics and hierarchies inherent in theories of knowledge. These are contextualized within a reflective inquiry framework, which, as well as exploring societal influences, draws upon the personal motives and influence of the writer and founder of the organization. This framework - with special reference to the Professional and Personal Shadow - is used to reflect upon the different stages of the journey of the organization, the motivations for setting up the organization and the way in which it has contributed to the challenges, resolutions and outcomes experienced within the structure and on the external environment.

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