Friday, September 18, 2009

LDS Counseling Services for the Deaf


We’re pleased to pass along this announcement from Brad Houck, MSW, LCSW (Portland, Oregon) about counseling services via VP for LDS Deaf members. Please inform your unit leaders about this wonderful service. Please contact Brad directly; his information is listed below.

A new resource is now available for Deaf members with counseling needs. The Oregon LDS Office employs a licensed Deaf therapist who is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Brad Houck, LCSW has worked for LDS Family Services since May 2006, providing services to Deaf clients in the area. Thanks to improvements in technology, most Deaf people have or will have a videophone, used for communicating with others in ASL. Brad has made himself available to meet with these clients anywhere in the country using this technology.

Often the Deaf community lacks direct access to counselors in their respective regions who are both fluent in ASL and educated in Deaf culture. Because of this scarcity, Deaf people are often referred to therapists who utilize interpreters for communication. This can be less effective and time consuming. Counseling may include issues such as addiction, marriage/family problems, pornography, depression, abuse, anxiety, and same-gender attraction. and other issues.

When local resources are not available, bishops/branch presidents may refer Deaf/hard of hearing LDS members, or members themselves can request counseling, by contacting the Portland LDSFS office by phone ([503] 620-1191) or by email: The Oregon Office will arrange the paperwork and billing of the client. Any questions/concerns, please contact


Stum Family said...

Deaf individuals that cannot find an LDS counselor can now do so online and anonymously via blog forum with a licensed therapist that answers questions via text.

Please see, LDS Couselor Blog

Site admin, please publish this post! Thanks, J

Emiline said...

I am Deaf myself, and a licensed counselor with a PhD. If that helps any.

Anonymous said...

Brad Houck is not certified to do videophone counseling. One has to have certification in distance counseling. He is not allowed to counsel anywhere in the country. If he is not certified, he is only allowed to counsel in Oregon.

Mike D. said...

Thank you for the many comments we received about this topic.

Because of recent changes regarding counseling via videophone, LDS Family Services no longer offers this service. Likewise, counselors/therapists are not licensed to provide counseling or therapy across state lines if they are not licensed in those states.

A therapist licensed in California cannot provide counseling to a person in New York through videophone, for example, because the counselor is not licensed in New York.

Please contact counselors who you trust in your area to help with these needs.

Anonymous said...

I wish to clarify the message posted on March 14, 2011. The information is not correct. Counseling through videophone is permissible and allowed across state lines--there is no legal barrier to this. I worked as a Deaf therapist with LDS Family Services for two years. But they (LDSFS) decided to terminate videophone counseling because they did not want the liability related to licensure in case a lawsuit occurred. However, they will still receive and send referrals to Deaf LDS counselors. If you have questions or concerns please contact me at:

It is important that people are aware LDS counseling can be available to them through the videophone.

Anonymous said...

By the way, what happened to the website? Will it be back up anytime soon?