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Counseling Parents at the Time of Diagnosis: Moving Toward Client-Centered Practice

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to present a clientcentered model of counseling that integrates information and personal adjustment counseling. Research has indicated that audiologists are more comfortable with counseling that is information based than with personal adjustment counseling. The prevailing model of diagnosis appears to be the medical model in which, first, a case history is taken, then testing and, finally, counseling. This model lends itself to audiologist as expert and the counseling as a separate entity based on information and advice. Further research has indicated parents retain little of the information provided in the initial examination because of their heightened emotions. Method: This article presents a client-centered model of diagnosis in which information is provided within an emotionally safe context, enabling the parents to express their feelings and have the ability to control the flow of information. The ultimate purpose of a client-centered model is to empower parents by making them active participants in the diagnostic process rather than passive recipients. Conclusion: The client-centered model has wide implications for the diagnostic process as well as for the training of students.

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American Journal of Audiology
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