Book Review: Mental Health and Deafness by Margaret Du Feu and Cathy Chovaz.

AuthorFarzeen, Midhat
PositionBook review

Du Feu, Margaret, and Cathy Chovaz. Mental Health and Deafness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. xvi + 296 pages. Paperback, $43.95.

Mental Health and Deafness provides a comprehensive yet detailed overview of the issues surrounding deafness and mental health for hard-of-hearing individuals as well as mental health researchers and practitioners. Dr. Margaret Du Feu, a consultant psychiatrist, and Dr. Cathy Chovaz, a professor in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario, bring extensive theoretical, clinical and personal experience to their book. Both of the authors have experienced deafness as adults and they currently communicate using sign language as well as spoken language.

Du Feu and Chovaz describe the historical and social context of deafness, and narrate the life journey of deaf individuals. They provide information about a child's way of accepting his/her deafness, about parents' reactions to their child's deafness, about language acquisition, and about mental health issues prevalent in childhood, adolescence, adulthood and later life. The book not only provides in-depth information regarding the lives of hard-of-hearing individuals but the case studies provided by the authors help the reader to fully understand this information.

The book is also a journey through the historical developments in the area of assessment and treatment. Chovaz and Du Feu highlight the need for appropriate assessment tools and respective intervention plans for deaf individuals because of the differences in their symptoms and co-morbidities. For example, it helps to understand the difference between an intellectual disability and the significance of delayed language acquisition. In addition, the authors have exceptionally differentiated between the symptoms related to mental health shown by hearing individuals and those presented...

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