Counseling A Deaf Individual: Tips For The Aspiring Therapist


When you aspire to be a counselor and therapist and dedicate your life to helping others overcome their troubles and mental health issues, you want to do your best to help those people who seek your professional assistance. And if one day, you have a potential patient come to you for services who is deaf, you may not know what you can and should do to help them in the best way possible. After all, being a deaf individual comes with its own challenges and different life experiences than a person who hears. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to counsel a deaf individual and provide them with the best services possible.

Do Not Assume Anything About Their Linguistic Skills

One of the worst mistakes you can make when you begin counseling an individual is deaf is to make any assumptions about their linguistic capabilities. Deaf people are not all the same. Some people who are deaf can read lips very well. Others cannot read lips at all.

Additionally, some deaf people have gone through speech therapy and learned to speak orally, and the degree to which they can and wish to communicate may vary. As such, you do not want to make any assumptions. Be sure that you gauge where your patient is linguistically and adjust your sessions and counseling style accordingly.

Learn American Sign Language (ASL) Not Matter What Their Linguistic Skills

No matter what the oral linguistic skill level of a deaf patient, you will also want to learn American Sign Language (ASL). Learning sign language for counseling can be a quick process if you are willing to dedicate the time and energy to learn it.

Learning to finger spell is the first step in learning ASL. You will need this skill when there are terms and phrases that you do not know the sign for or that the language may not have a specific sign to indicate. Then, you can build your skills with signs that are pertinent to your field of counseling. The more you learn and the more quickly you do so, the better you and your patient will be able to communicate with one another.

The effort you take to learn sign language will also be appreciated by your deaf patient as you will show them that their own language and culture are respected in your interactions. This respect and trust can help them to open up more and get the greatest benefit from their counseling sessions.

With these tips in mind, you can better provide counseling services to a deaf client or patient and ensure that they get the greatest benefit from their sessions with you. For more information, contact a company like Professional Sign Language Interpreting Inc.


12 December 2015

the different cultures of the world

How much do your kids know about cultures outside of their own? My son came home from Sunday school asking me all kinds of questions about the American Indian culture and I could only answer a few of his questions. After that day, we have spent a little time each week learning about different cultures around the world. We created this blog together to help other people learn about the many different cultures that can be found today and from years past. Hopefully, our search for information and the creation of our blog can help you find what you want to know about the different cultures of the world.