As a member of the Deaf community, you may constantly struggle in our hearing-centric world. It might feel like there’s always a challenge. Maybe it’s something supposedly as simple as communication, or perhaps a more damaging issue like prejudice.
You may find yourself asking what you can do to understand Deafhood and your feelings about it. Whether you’re Deaf, late-deafened, or hard of hearing, counseling will be able to aid you in handling these concerns. Whatever path you choose to take, know that your counselor will be there with you every step of the way.
Living In A “Hearing World”
For Deaf people like you, it may be hard to live in a world that prioritizes hearing. This isn’t to say that being Deaf automatically limits you. After all, deafness itself isn’t disabling. Instead, it’s audism that might be severely restricting you.
It isn’t easy to come to terms with, but your counselor will be able to help you express your feelings about it. They may also guide you in understanding the uniqueness and intricacies of being Deaf. For one, people should treat Deafhood as a linguistic and cultural minority rather than an impairment. Talking to your counselor may help you discuss your feelings about this identity.
Your counselor will also listen to your thoughts and feelings about living amongst hearing peers and family members. You should tell them how you feel about your relationships, everyday living situations, and the challenges you face. Whatever you have to say, know that your counselor will be there to listen to you.
There may also come a time when you feel isolated and set aside because of the hearing-centric systems surrounding you. But remember, your counselor will be there to help you process those things. They will guide you through exploring the world around you.
Understanding What Deafhood Is To You
Aside from grasping the kind of world you live in, your counselor will also help you work out what Deafhood means to you. They may ask you about your past experiences, emotions regarding those, and your plans for the future. It is all so you could begin to understand what being deaf is for you.
Of course, this comes differently for each person. Being hard of hearing, late-deafened, or Deaf will be significant in figuring out what Deafhood is for you. Your counselor’s goal is to teach you how to process your experiences and emotions and where you want to go from there. It may also help you identify the challenges that come your way and how to address them. By doing this, you can figure out how to take better care of your mental health.
Bear in mind that your counselor will not be there to dictate what you should do. Instead, they’ll be there by your side, helping you every step of the way. Their priority is to help you be the best version of yourself. That means how you feel and what you want matters.
Learning About Available Resources
As a member of the Deaf community, you may find you’re always short of available resources. It may range from educational materials to career and schooling opportunities, modes of communication, and many others. You may talk to your counselor about this lack. If you’re not sure about it, they may even help you identify it.
Your counselor may refer you to different sources depending on what you need. Another factor is also whether you’re Deaf, late-deafened, or hard of hearing. In addition, your counselor may ask you some questions to identify which aspects to address. While your counselor’s advice will be helpful, keep in mind that their priority is your comfort and well-being. You may choose not to answer questions that make you feel uncomfortable.
Again, your counselor is not there to dictate what you should do. Instead, they’re there to assist you in your journey towards better mental well-being. With that said, it would benefit you to be completely honest with them. Let them know if you hate it when people push you to get a cochlear implant. Tell them if you don’t like how some look at Deafhood as an impairment instead of a culture.
Your counselor will be able to cater to your needs if you let them know these things. Still, remember that it’s up to you what you want to share with them. Your counselor will be there with you to explore options and resources that can help comfort, liberate, and empower you.
Exploring Your Advocacy
Deaf advocacy is another concern your counselor may discuss with you. The goal of counseling, first and foremost, is to help you achieve emotional and mental well-being. And a big part of it is not teaching you to cope with the biased systems around you. Instead, your counselor will help you explore self-advocacy. They’ll guide you in learning how to articulate your needs as well as how to act on them.
Don’t hesitate to talk to them about the changes you want to see around you. After all, the unfairness in systems and regulations affects your everyday life. Addressing this will help you move forward healthily. It may even help lead to positive changes for the Deaf community.
Counseling will be there to help you understand that the disadvantages you experience aren’t because of Deafhood. They will guide you in recognizing audism as the cause of your disabling experiences. Don’t be afraid to discuss Deaf advocacy with your counselor. After all, they would want to help you play an active part in breaking the bias against Deaf people.
To Wrap Up
A lot of things are challenging for members of the Deaf community. But this is because of the restrictions brought about by audism and not deafness itself. Your counselor may be able to help you understand these intricacies and process the world around you. In addition, counseling can also aid you in learning about the resources available to you. It would be even better if you also discuss your Deaf advocacy with them.
It would benefit you to be truthful and open with your counselor when discussing these things. After all, they want to help you understand things and feel better. Remember, this is all for your well-being.