According to a model developed by Cavanagh (1982), counseling may be perceived as a unique relationship by which the counselor helps others learn to relate to themselves and others in growth producing ways. The effective counselor fosters growth by creating an environment and a relationship that is significantly different from any presently experienced by the client or clients. Underlying principles and goals of individual and group counseling are identified and discussed. One goal of counseling is to help individuals understand that most of their difficulties emanate from within themselves and not from external circumstances. The basic purposes of a therapeutic group are to increase people's knowledge of themselves and others, to assist people in clarifying changes they want to make in their lives, and to help them develop some of the tools necessary to make the changes. Special characteristics of members of the Deaf culture are discussed, with implications for the group counseling process. The identification of ASL as the language of choice has great importance for the Deaf community and any effective counselor must accept it as a legitimate language distinct from English. The counselor must resist any attempt to pathologize deafness and needs to recognize it as an identifying characteristic of a distinct American social group. The utilization of interpreters with counselors not proficient in ASL is considered. Because the presence of a third party in the counseling process entails distancing in the counselor/client relationship, it is preferable to have a counselor skilled in ASL. Because of a shortage of such professionals, the use of an interpreter may be the only viable alternative.
Miller, M. S., & Moores, D. F. (2019). Principles of Group Counseling and Their Applications for Deaf Clients. JADARA, 23(4). Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/jadara/vol23/iss4/4