The Benefits of Counselling and Coaching for Parents of Deaf and Deafened Children?

Counselling/Coaching for parents of Deaf/deafened children aims to promote understanding and collaboration among family members in order to solve the problems of one or more individuals. For example, if a child is having social and academic problems, therapy will focus on the family patterns that may contribute to the child’s acting out, rather than evaluating the child’s behaviour alone. As the family uncovers the source of the problem, they can learn to support the child and other family members and work proactively on minimising or altering the conditions that contribute to the child’s unwanted behaviour.

Key to the effective communication between the deaf child, parents, siblings and grandparents, is the emotional health and well-being of the family unit.

We can help with Counselling and Coaching for Parents of Deaf and Deafened Children


Counselling and Coaching for Parents of Deaf and Deafened Children

All the decisions we make for a child are based on the parents’ choices about what they want for their child.  Parents need to be educated about the choices.  How do we help educate parents?  We need to help parents determine what their goals are for their child.  In the beginning, most parents do not know anything about hearing loss and cannot even begin to figure this out.  “Where do you want your child to be when they are 5? 10?  20?  30?” What the parent says gives us information about how we can help them plan for their child. 

For example, if a parent says she wants her child to go to school with her siblings and the children on the block and be whatever they want to be when they grow up, we need to say, “What does it take to get there?”  In order to be educated in a mainstream classroom, you need to be using listening and spoken language.  If you want your child to go to college, they have a much better chance of succeeding if they are using listening in spoken language.  We need to be honest when we talk about all of the differences in the possibilities for educating children with hearing loss.  What are the different communication modes?  What are the different educational options?  They are not all the same.  This is a topic for another conversation, but it is important that we are realistic about what the choices are and that we help parents understand what the different choices mean.  That determines how we plan for a child


Decision Making

 
Families need to make their own decisions.  “What is the goal for your child, and what does it take to get there?”  We need to make sure that the decisions are the parents’ decisions and not our decisions.  If we say, “You need this kind of hearing aid.  Now you need a cochlear implant.  Now you need to go to this educational program. Parents need to be empowered to make the decisions they need to make with educational support along the way.  If we make the decisions, any successes or failures are attributed to us.  If they make the decisions, they buy into figuring out what is best for that family.  The family needs to learn to take responsibility for doing whatever needs to be done for a child to succeed.
 
When children get older, we, unfortunately, need to try to start helping them make decisions, and that is not an easy task.  We need to help children understand the effect of not hearing.  “What happens when you do not hear?”  “What happens when you do not hear in school?”  “What happens when you do not hear in social situations?”  There are both short-term and long-term consequences.  “You may think it is better today not to wear a hearing aid because people will see it, and then you will feel bad about what you look like.  But what do people think when you cannot answer questions?”  We need to help children understand that the decisions they make have consequences.
 
We do not believe that children are fully educated enough or wise enough to make decisions about whether they should use an FM or whether they should wear hearing aids.  An 8-, 10-, or 12-year-old who is making that decision is not making it based on a full knowledge of the negative effect of not learning or on long-term goals.  We need to be sure that we are helping children understand the impact of any decision they make.

Victoria (Psychotherapeutic Therapist)

She is a Deaf qualified Transactional Analysis (TA) Psychotherapeutic Therapist . She draws on several models of therapy, she has recently taken an interest in Schema therapy which focuses on borderline personality disorder. She uses BSL, SSE and Oral communication, adapting to the client’s communication needs.

Johanna (Cognitive Psychotherapist Accredited)

She communicates in ISL, BSL, SSE, ASL and Oral lip reading. She was born Deaf understanding the frustrations of communication. She empowers clients to take control of their life through a vast array of techniques specific to individual diagnosis. Her principle is to allow an individual to take control of their difficulties and to manage their life in a healthy adaptive way.

Matthew (Psychodynamic Therapist)

His theoretical approach or style is based on the psychodynamic model, with a specific focus on relational dynamics. His Background is growing up with several members of his family being profoundly Deaf, he is a CODA, meaning he has grown up using sign language to communicate. He can communicate using BSL, SSE and Oral lip reading.

Wendy (IAPT/ Integrative Relational Therapist)

Wendy was born Deaf, she uses BSL, SSE and Oral lip reading communications. She offers a wide spectrum of counselling methodologies including CBT, Relational and Integrative models. She offers cultural support and help in the comfort of your own space. She works with clients to find a comfortable way forward that’s individually tailored to meet their needs.

Sue (Integrative Therapist)

Sue was born Deaf using BSL as her first language. She is an integrative therapist with extensive experience working with abuse, physical, emotional and psychological, she also works with anger management and how to manage anger. Sue understands from experience specific issues related to deafness.

Jill (UKCP Certified Psychotherapist, Transactional Analysis)

Jill has worked with Deaf clients for may years, she uses BSL, SSE and oral lip reading for communication. She focuses on what is happening in your life and through this increase your understanding and awareness of your situation. The main basis of her approach is Transactional Analysis (TA). TA can be used as a cognitive-behavioural style approach and a more relational approach with clients.

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