Hearing Loss Success Stories of Psychologists
Samuel Trychin, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Hearing Loss Mentor
Samuel Trychin, Ph.D. is currently a psychologist consulting to Stairways Behavioral Health in Erie, PA. He is also a lecturer at Penn-State, Erie: The Behrend College. Dr. Trychin conducts training programs, classes, and workshops for people who are hard of hearing, their family members, and professionals who provide services to them. He has recently initiated a program for people who have hearing loss within a community mental health agency in Erie, PA.
Dr. Trychin received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the George Washington University, Washington, DC. His specialty is the application of psychological concepts, principles, and procedures to problems and issues related to hearing loss. He has written 15 books, authored numerous professional book chapters and journal articles, and produced a variety of videotapes related to coping with hearing loss. He and his wife Janet, an audiologist, frequently conduct workshops together.
Hearing Loss and Hearing Solutions
Unable to find the exact cause of his hearing loss, Dr. Trychin believes it may have been to spinal meningitis at the age of 13. He was able to pass the hearing test to get into the service, but when tested again overseas in Germany, he was told he failed the hearing test and returned to the United States to go through two months of aural rehab in April, 1953. Subsequently, he received a small service-connected disability, providing him with the means to go to college.
Dr. Trychin has been a hearing aid user since that time. In 1966 he had a stapedectomy in his left ear, which returned a good deal of hearing, but that hearing has since deteriorated. Today, he has mixed hearing loss that is severe in the right ear and moderate in the left ear. He has been wearing bilateral hearing aids since 1981 and gets a good result from them. His hearing loss also opened the gate for him to Gallaudet University, where he was able to develop the program, "Living with Hearing Loss," which enabled him to work intensively with many other people who are hard of hearing, and, consequently, learn a great deal about strategies and tactics for successfully living with hearing loss.
"My hearing loss and what I have learned about compensatory strategies has provided me with opportunity to meet and help several thousand people who have or live with someone who has hearing loss, and I am most grateful for that. I have learned so much from others over the past 22 years in the way of effective communication strategies and tactics, including assistive technology, that my hearing loss is rarely a consideration any longer. I truly believe that it has become an asset and is not a liability.
I would urge people who have not yet received treatment for their hearing loss to consider the fact that hearing loss is a communication disorder and, as such, affects everyone in the communication situation. When something said is not understood or misunderstood, the person who is talking has a problem along with the person who is listening. We see many family members suffering from considerable stress and/or emotional upset because their parent, spouse, or child has not taken steps to effectively deal with the hearing loss. Conversely, I would urge family members and friends of people who show signs of hearing loss to encourage them to have their hearing tested .There are many people who have hearing loss who do not realize that they have it because they seem to understand what is being said in many quiet, distraction-free situations and/or because they do not know what they are missing. The longer a person goes without taking steps to compensate for the hearing loss, the more he or she is likely to develop bad communication habits, such as, bluffing or dominating conversations, which are difficult to break, once established."
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