Date of Graduation

Fall 2015


Master of Science in Counseling


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

Committee Chair

Joseph Hulgus


survey study, d/Deaf and hard of hearing, counseling, relationship, deaf culture, qualitative study, research, introductory study, mental health services

Subject Categories



Few studies have explored mental health services such as counseling that are specifically provided to those who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing (d/DHH). This qualitative study was intended as an early research effort within a young field to investigate the impact of having an interpreter present within the therapeutic context. Qualitative data were obtained from an online, open-ended survey of eight d/Deaf and/or hard of hearing counseling clients in which the counselor was hearing and an interpreter was used in the counseling process. It was found that that d/Deaf cultural competence on the part of the counselor is an important part of the client-counselor relationship for those who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing along with the desire to feel safe, understood and connected. Future research should seek to (a) replicate this study with a broader sample, (b) make adjustments in order to interact with the participants through interviews rather than an online survey, and (c) study topics such as specific therapy styles that may be most beneficial for the those who are d/DHH.


© Vanessa Ivette Rodriguez-Aviles

Open Access

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