chapter  EIGHT
12 Pages

What did you say? What did you mean?

ByMichael Kelly

In this chapter, the author presents how, through counselling a deaf client, meaningful communication did take place that allowed for purposeful changes in the client's life. Therapy, in popular parlance, is often described as the "talking cure". Yet in a sense this presupposes that both client and counsellor can physically hear each other. The author examines the case study of Valerie's history. Valerie was referred for counselling by a bereavement counsellor. Valerie's deafness—or "acoustic problem", as she almost always referred to it—had a huge impact on her. She never heard the sounds of the world. Valerie's life has been dominated by feelings of loss and disappointment. Yet she could also be described as a survivor. A theme that ran through every session and which was central to our work was Valerie's relationship with her family, immediate, parental, and extended. Valerie struggled with an "acoustic problem", as she described it, all her life.