Date of Award

4-30-2015

Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name

Psy.D.

Department

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Fernand Lubuguin

First Committee Member

John McNeill

Second Committee Member

Terri Finney

Keywords

Deaf community, mindfulness, mental health, cultural sensitivity

Abstract

Mental health issues are as prevalent in the deaf community as the hearing community, if not more. Yet, Deaf individuals are often treated by mental health professionals less frequently and less effectively. Many systemic barriers exist that influence the lack of services provided to the Deaf community, primarily related to a lack of cultural understanding rooted in perceptions of Deaf individuals. However, the Deaf community may be best understood as a cultural minority, a unique community sharing a distinct culture, history, and language. This paper investigates the effects of systematic barriers and cultural misunderstanding among mental health professions regarding the Deaf community, explores the historical and current mental health problems Deaf individuals most commonly struggle with, and proposes a potential culturally sensitive intervention for the Deaf community based on these factors. To examine these issues, the author conducted a thorough review of Deaf cultural history and values, as well as a review of peer-reviewed articles regarding both Deaf mental health and mindfulness outcome studies. Based on this review, mindfulness may be an effective, culturally sensitive intervention that addresses both cultural and psychological components while working with the Deaf population.

Extent

53 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons

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