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Ethics in Mental Health and Deafness

Virginia Gutman, Editor

Publication Year: 2002

This volume explores ethical issues specific to working with deaf clients, particularly matters of confidentiality, managing multiple relationships, and the clinician’s competency to provide services, particularly in communicating with and understanding deaf people. Led by editor Virginia Gutman, a unique assembly of respected mental health professionals share their experiences and knowledge in working with deaf clients. Irene Leigh commences Ethics in Mental Health and Deafness with her varied experiences as a deaf mental health practitioner, and Gutman follows with insights on ethics in the “small world” of the Deaf community. William McCrone discusses the law and ethics, and Patrick Brice considers ethical issues regarding deaf children, adolescents, and their families. In contrast, Janet Pray addresses concerns about deaf and hard of hearing older clients. Minority deaf populations pose additional ethical aspects, which are detailed by Carolyn Corbett. Kathleen Peoples explores the challenges of training professionals in mental health services specifically for deaf clients. Closely related to these topics is the influence of interpreters with deaf clients in mental health settings, which Lynnette Taylor thoroughly treats. Ethics and Mental Health in Deafness also features a chapter on genetic counseling and testing for deafness by Kathleen Arnos. The final section, written by Robert Pollard, examines ethical conduct in research with deaf people, a fitting conclusion to a volume that will become required reading for all professionals and students in this discipline.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This book is designed to fill some of the gaps in the professional literature on ethical practice in relation to Deafness, and to address issues important for those who provide mental health services for deaf people. The authors of the various chapters have extensive experience in both training and service delivery. They were asked to write about their areas of specialization...

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pp. xi-xii

This book developed with help, guidance, and encouragement from many sources. First, the Gallaudet Department of Psychology provided a home base in which I could develop a course that introduced clinical psychology students to issues in professional ethics. Preparing for that course led to a search for published references on ethical issues with deaf clients that made...

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1. Ethical Problems in Deaf Mental Health Services: A PRACTITIONER’S EXPERIENCE

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pp. 1-10

I am a deaf person. This characteristic of mine permeates the diverse identities I have developed over the course of my life to varying degrees, as do my other physical and personality characteristics. Within the context of this chapter, it needs to be noted that I am also a psychologist, a woman, a mother, and a social being, not necessarily in order of importance. I live and...

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pp. 11-37

When mental health professionals working in Deafness get together to discuss professional issues, our conversation inevitably turns to topics in the realm of ethics. Managing encounters with clients outside the therapy hour; maintaining confidentiality; working with other professionals and the institutions that employ them; battling rumor and stigma; dealing with the eco- nomic, educational,...

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3. Law and Ethics in Mental Health and Deafness

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pp. 38-51

Therapists working with deaf clients can and should achieve a basic level of legal literacy in dealing with the unique intersections of ethics and law in therapy with deaf people (McCrone, 1988). The most likely future negligence/malpractice suits by deaf clients against therapists, their supervisors, and human service agencies will be based on alleged ethical violations in...

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4. Ethical Issues in Working With Deaf Children, Adolescents, and Their Families

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pp. 52-67

Working with deaf children and their families is both challenging and very rewarding. To have the opportunity to share the struggles and triumphs of deaf children in school, within their families, and in their social lives is a privilege. It is not, however, without its ethical pitfalls and dilemmas. COMPETENCE A major ethical issue for those working with deaf...

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5. Ethical Considerations for Counseling Deaf and Hard of Hearing Older Adults

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pp. 68-83

When mental health professionals discuss issues specific to counseling and psychotherapy with deaf and hard of hearing people, older clients or patients are not typically a major focus (Pray, 1989, 1992). This is not surprising since the mental health field does not focus as much attention on older persons as it does on other age groups. This reality is of concern since the aging population has been...

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6. Ethical Issues When Working With Minority Deaf Populations

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pp. 84-98

Particular issues arise when providing mental health services to deaf persons of color. The author is an African American hearing psychologist who has worked for many years within the Deaf community. From these experiences, the author considers some of the particular dynamics that emerge when race, class, and culture meet in psychotherapy.

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7. Ethical Challenges in Training Professionals for Mental Health Services With Deaf People

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pp. 99-122

The interface between the mental health fields and the Deaf community has undergone momentous transformation. The Deaf community was once a group subjected to procrustean psychological assumptions, a group whose specific needs and unique characteristics were stretched to pathological proportions or trimmed to insignificance. Today, the Deaf community is a...

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pp. 123-148

Interpreters in the mental health setting often witness the very intimate and personal journey of an individual towards transformation and healing (Duffy & Veltri, 1997). While they are not the journey’s navigator, they form a very intimate bond with client and therapist as all three work toward making and finding meaning. Yet the interpreters’ role is one of veiled...

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9. Ethical Issues in Genetic Counseling and Testing for Deafness

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pp. 149-161

Genetic counseling is a recognized medical specialty designed to assist families with obtaining information and support regarding the diagnosis of a genetic condition in the family. Modern genetic counseling is characterized by respect and caring for families, with attention to their religious and cultural beliefs and family experiences, which can often determine their reaction to...

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10. Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Deaf People

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pp. 162-178

The American Psychological Association (APA) is perhaps the leading international organization promoting ethical conduct in mental health and behavioral research. The APA continually updates its policies and publications regarding ethical research practices. The association’s most recent (ninth) revision of its code of ethics (APA, 1992) contains over a dozen specific...


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pp. 179-181


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pp. 183-193

E-ISBN-13: 9781563682063
E-ISBN-10: 1563682060
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563681202
Print-ISBN-10: 156368120X

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2002

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Deaf -- Services for.
  • Deaf services -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Deaf -- Mental health services -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • Psychiatric ethics.
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