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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients
from Diverse Groups
Second Edition Completely Revised and Updated

Irene W. Leigh, Editor

View the table of contents.
View the list of contributors.
Read chapter seventeen.
Read reviews: Reference & Research Book News, Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education.


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Dale V. Atkins, PhD, a licensed psychologist, has a private practice in New York City. Educated at Teachers College, Columbia University (MA in deafness); and University of California, Los Angeles (PhD in educational psychology), she has written six books and several chapters and articles. A pioneer in the field of sibling relationships in families where a child has a hearing difference, Dr. Atkins consults with educational and health related organizations in the area of wellness and life balance. She frequently appears as a guest expert in the media, most often appearing on NBC’s Today show. She authors the popular online newsletter, Sanity Savers and More, and is creator and host of the TV show, Dr. Dale’s Life Issues (PBS).

Karen Bailey is currently working toward a PhD in clinical psychology at Gallaudet University. She has worked in mental health, social service, and educational settings. Karen lives with Usher syndrome and provides leadership, education, and support to others. She also provides consultation to mental health agencies that serve people with hearing and vision loss. Karen and her leader dog, Piston, are a familiar sight in the metro Washington, DC, area.

Sheli Barber, MA, LMHC, serves as direct service coordinator and mental health therapist serving Deaf and hard of hearing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault at the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Service (ADWAS) in Seattle. She started out as a volunteer advocate in 1992 and worked as a therapist at Seattle Mental Health for five years before moving to ADWAS.

Carolyn A. Corbett, PhD, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991. She is currently an associate professor in the doctoral program in clinical psychology at Gallaudet University. Dr. Corbett specializes in the area of multicultural mental health services for both deaf and hearing individuals. Her research interests are in the area of ethnic and racial issues in the Deaf community. She teaches courses in psychological assessment and psychotherapy with individuals from minority cultural groups. Dr. Corbett’s private practice focuses on provision of psychological forensic assessment services related to child welfare issues and deaf individuals who are involved in the legal system.

Janet E. Dickinson, PhD, is the assistant director of the Austine School for the Deaf in Vermont. Previously, she was the director of community affairs at the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf and the deputy director of the Newark Target Cities Project, a federally funded drug treatment program, both in New Jersey. Earlier in her career, Dr. Dickinson served as the program specialist in New Jersey responsible for developing substance abuse prevention and treatment services for deaf and hard of hearing persons.

Nancy Eldredge, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice in Tucson, Arizona. She formerly was director of the Mental Health/Deaf Program in Oregon and director of the Rehabilitation Counseling/Deafness Program at the University of Arizona. Her research work covers the cognitive development and social/emotional development of deaf children in the United States and the People’s Republic of China. She has also conducted research on both Australian Aborigines and American Indians who are deaf, in addition to doing evaluations and therapy with the latter group. Dr. Eldredge lectures nationally and internationally on techniques for developing resiliency, wellness, and self-care for health and mental health workers and ASL interpreters.

David M. Feldman, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at Barry University in Miami Shores and a licensed psychologist. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology and master’s degree in counseling from Gallaudet University. Dr. Feldman completed postdoctoral training in gerontology at the University of South Florida, Florida Mental Health Institute. Currently coeditor of the Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association (JADARA), he also maintains a private practice and continues his research related to Deaf senior citizens.

Nancy C. Grant, MSW, founded the HIP Big Brothers/Big Sisters Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program, which grew into HIP Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth Project providing multiple services for San Francisco Bay area multicultural and multiply disabled inner city children, youth, young adults; their families; and their communities. She has presented many workshops/classes on diversity and served as adjunct faculty at Gallaudet University’s Department of Counseling. She cofounded Cultural Intersections in Oakland, CA, and currently coordinates/teaches in San Francisco State University’s Rehabilitation Counseling Program focusing on deaf, hard of hearing, and deafened consumers.

Debra S. Guthmann, EdD, directs the Division of Pupil Personnel Services at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, CA. She is the founding director of the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals and continues her affiliation with them. Dr. Guthmann has developed materials and provided outreach and training nationally and internationally regarding substance abuse with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. She has written numerous articles and several book chapters focusing on ethical issues, substance abuse, and treatment models to use with this population.

Virginia Gutman, PhD, is professor emeritus at Gallaudet University, where her positions included Psychology Department chair, founder and director of the Clinical Psychology Program, director of the Counseling Center, and director of Residence Life. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology, awarded in 1974, from Duke University. Her publications include the 2002 volume, Ethics in Mental Health and Deafness.

Sharon L. Haynes, LMSW, is a social worker at Deaf Wellness Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, and cofounder and interim executive director for Advocacy Service for Abused Deaf Victims in Rochester, NY. She is a graduate of Syracuse University’s social work program. Ms. Haynes provides individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy services and participates in teaching and research initiatives. She has participated in modifying as well as acting in training films created for Deaf audiences for both DWC and CDC.

Leonardo Hidalgo, PhD, LCSW, formerly a community sign language interpreter, obtained his master’s degree in social work from the University of Central Florida, and his PsyD from Carlos Albizu University. He has worked at the National Deaf Academy in Mount Dora, FL, where he ran group and individual sessions with deaf adolescents. Since 2001 he has worked at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL, providing services to Latino Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and their families.

Irene W. Leigh, PhD, was the third deaf teacher at the Lexington School for the Deaf in New York City before obtaining her MA in rehabilitation counseling and her PhD in clinical psychology, both from New York University. She was assistant director of the Lexington Center for Mental Health Services before coming to Gallaudet University where she currently is chair of the Department of Psychology and professor in the clinical psychology doctoral program. In addition to private practice as a licensed psychologist, she has 70 articles, book chapters, and books; as well as multiple presentations on parenting, socialization and identity, cochlear implants, multiculturalism, and mental health.

Jeffrey W. Lewis, PhD, currently is a professor in the Department of Counseling and one of the key faculty members for the graduate-level Mental Health Counseling Program at Gallaudet University. He maintains a private practice in the metropolitan DC and Frederick, MD, communities. A second-generation Deaf person, Dr. Lewis received his doctorate in counseling psychology from New York University. He presents workshops nationally and internationally on mental health related issues.

Ruth C. Loew, PhD, holds degrees in linguistics (PhD, University of Minnesota) and education of the hearing impaired (MA, Northwestern University). She is currently the assistant director of the Office of Disability Policy with Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ, where, in addition to her primary responsibilities in development of accommodations policies for test takers with disabilities, she serves as an internal consultant on deafness-related issues. She was involved in research on deaf consumers’ attitudes toward mental health services at Children’s Seashore House in Philadelphia and has taught both at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf’s adult-education program.

Alan L. Marcus, PhD, hearing son of deaf parents, received his PhD in counseling psychology from Temple University. Dr. Marcus has been a staff psychologist at the Gallaudet University Counseling Center, director of Disability Support Services at the University of Maryland, and director of Student Support Services at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Currently he is in full-time private practice where he sees adolescents, adults, and families. Dr. Marcus has made numerous presentations nationally and internationally on a variety of topics. He has specialized training in IMAGO Relationship Therapy and has a Diplomate in sex therapy.

Ilene Miner, ACSW, LCSWC, is project assistant for the Deaf, Disabled, and Elder Project at Peace Over Violence, a Los Angeles agency serving those who have been abused or assaulted. Previously, she had been the director of mental health at the Center for Hearing and Communication in New York City. Prior to that she was mental health consultant to the Helen Keller National Center in Port Washington, NY, and to several state children’s deaf-blind children’s programs. Earlier in her career she developed a program of medical and mental health services for Deaf people at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She has written and lectured in the United States and Europe on the topic of mental health and Usher syndrome.

Randall R. Myers, PhD, LCSWC, hearing son of deaf parents, earned his PhD in mental health policy from Union Institute and his master’s degree from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. Over the past 25 years, he has consulted extensively with state and community agencies on providing mental health services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Currently, he works for the state of Maryland supervising case services to foster children and families and has a private practice with people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the Baltimore area.

Shirley Shultz Myers, PhD, hearing daughter of deaf parents, is a professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Gallaudet University. An interdisciplinarian with varied interests and training as well as publications, she earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate from Emory University in modern drama, with concentrations in linguistics, psychology, and literature. She also obtained a certificate involving both theory and clinical training from a 2-year program in psychodynamic psychology at the Washington School of Psychiatry and has received training and/or conducted self-study in journalism, emotional intelligence, nonfiction writing, critical thinking, honors in higher education, interdisciplinarity, intellectual history, and Deaf Studies.

Amanda O’Hearn, PhD, is the director of Clinical Services at the Deaf Wellness Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is a graduate of Gallaudet University’s clinical psychology program. Her research has focused on adapting dialectical behavior therapy for Deaf clients, which she uses extensively in her clinical work. Other research activities include projects related to health and deaf individuals with the National Center for Deaf Health Research.

Robert Pollard, PhD, is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. There, he heads the Deaf Wellness Center, home of numerous initiatives pertaining to mental health, sign language interpreting, healthcare, and professional education opportunities for deaf people. Dr. Pollard has been principal investigator on more than 30 federal, foundation, regional, and local grants and has published over 70 articles and book chapters.

Katherine A. Sandberg, CCDCR, is the former program manager of the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals. She also assisted in the development of a specialized version of the drug abuse resistance education (D.A.R.E.) curriculum and has provided material development, outreach, and training in the area of substance abuse with Deaf and hard of hearing individuals on a national basis. She currently works in southern Minnesota and manages a Drug Free Communities grant.

Kendra Smith, PhD, is an assistant professor and director of the Mental Health Counseling master’s program in the Department of Counseling at Gallaudet University. Prior to that, she was a mental health counselor at Gallaudet’s Mental Health Center. She has presented at international and national conferences on such topics as crosscultural issues in clinical supervision, ethical responsibility of supervisors, and counseling college students. She is a nationally certified counselor in Washington, DC, and Maryland, and maintains a limited private practice in Rockville, Maryland. Marilyn J. Smith, MA, is founder and executive director of the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) in Seattle—the first agency of its kind in the United States. She has been doing this work since 1986 and is considered the mother of the antiviolence movement in Deaf America. Since 1998, the ADWAS model has been replicated in several cities and states.

Annie G. Steinberg, MD, is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Areas of research include multiculturalism, access to and linguistic barriers to healthcare, and parental values on the decision made on behalf of a child. Her clinical work includes the establishment of school-based mental health programs at schools for the Deaf, and community based mental health services for adults and children who are Deaf. She currently practices in Narberth, PA , and consults to the Deaf Services Center in Glenside, PA.

Vicki Joy Sullivan, MA, RDT, CDI, is a program coordinator and support services specialist at the Career Success Solutions Servicing Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals in Mt Holly, New Jersey. She previously was a research associate and communication specialist at the Deafness and Family Communication Center at Children’s Seashore House in Philadelphia. She has conducted numerous personal growth workshops using art and drama therapy, and has worked as a creative arts facilitator of a support groups for deaf adults in recovery at Signs of Sobriety, Inc., and Halfway House in New Jersey. A registered drama therapist, she obtained her master’s degree in drama therapy from New York University and has a certificate in therapeutic recreation for children with disabilities. She is also a certified Deaf interpreter.

Tovah Wax, PhD, LCSW, a deaf professional, holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Delaware (Newark), MSW from the University of Maryland (Baltimore), and a re-specialization doctorate from the State University of Buffalo in counseling/clinical psychology. Currently psychology consultant for Disability Determination Services in Raleigh, NC, she was previously director of Dix Hospital’s Psychiatric Inpatient Program for Deaf/Hard of Hearing People. Prior positions include: staff chair for psychological services and associate professor of psychology, NTID Liberal Arts Department, Rochester Institute of Technology; Washington state coordinator of statewide mental health services for Deaf and hard of hearing people; and assistant professor, Department of Counseling, Gallaudet University.

Aimee K. Whyte, MA, NCC, Deaf daughter of Deaf parents, is a full-time PhD student in counseling and counselor education, a CACREP-approved program at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Human Development. She received her MA in mental health counseling from Gallaudet University and her BS in professional and technical communication from RIT/NTID. She has experience working with a variety of Deaf college students at RIT Counseling Center/NTID Psychological Services. Her research interests include: Deaf college students, Deaf culture, culturally Deaf identity development, dual relationships, emotional health and well-being, bibliotherapy, American Sign Language music, and the “dinner-table syndrome.”

Susan M. Williams, PhD, obtained her degree at Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL. She received training working with Deaf individuals during her internship and fellowship at the Deaf and hard of hearing outpatient program at Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH) in Miami, FL. She did psychological evaluations for Deaf and hard of hearing students in the Dade County public school system. During 2001, she returned to the JMH Deaf and Hard of Hearing Outpatient Program as the program director. She has been involved with different community entities advocating and promoting improved services for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Dov Wills, MA, MA, LMHC, serves as a mental health therapist at Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Service where she also serves as a sexual assault prevention specialist. Prior to that, she was a mental health therapist and coordinator of the program for Deaf and hearing children and adults at Sound Mental Health in Seattle, WA. She maintains a limited private practice in Seattle.

Cheryl L. Wu, PsyD, is a first-generation American-born Chinese woman, with a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Gallaudet University and a doctorate in clinical psychology with a multicultural emphasis from the California School for Professional Psychology. She cochaired the first national Asian Deaf Conference (1994) and taught at Taiwan School for the Deaf for several years. She was a cofounder of Cultural Intersections, Oakland, CA, and currently is associate professor in the Department of Counseling at Gallaudet University. A licensed clinical psychologist, she worked with multicultural deaf/hard of hearing children, youth, and their families for over 26 years in mental health, educational, and community based services.

Thomas C. Zangas, PhD, completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, in 2005. He currently works for the New York City Department of Education, where he provides clinical services to Deaf, hearing, and CODA children and their families. He also works as a consulting psychologist for RG Psychological Services, specializing in psychotherapy with adults with HIV, and he maintains a private practice in New York City.

Irene W. Leigh is Professor Emerita, Psychology, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

ISBN 978-1-56368-447-0, 7 x 10 paperback, 424 pages, 7 tables, 9 figures


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