Dr. Luterman has spent an illustrious 50 year career as a pediatric audiologist and educator focusing on transforming Audiology into a helping profession. He believes that Audiologists are most effective in helping patients when we are tuned to the emotional needs of patients and their parents (Luterman, 1997; Luterman, 2006). Audiologists who do not understand and accept the patient’s emotional and psychological reactions to a diagnosis of a hearing loss will inevitably miss a patient’s true concerns leading to an ineffective patient-professional relationship (Luterman, 2010). Dr. Luterman’s writings have also highlighted his belief that emotional reactions during such as shock, anger, depression, and denial are all normal responses, and the job of the audiologist should be to help the patient recognize their current state and accept it as part of the process (Luterman, 1997; Luterman, 2010). In addition, he discusses hearing loss as a chronic stressor that does not have a definitive endpoint, and as such Audiologists should never assume a finite grieving period (Kurtzer-White and Luterman, 2006).

He believes Audiologist must become active listeners in the counseling process. He promotes a counseling method that was less technical, and more geared towards listening and helping instead of diagnosing and treating. Rather than acting as lecturers simply divulging technical information, an audiologist should think about whether the patient is ready and receptive for the information (Luterman, 2006). If the patient is in a state of shock remembering any of the information will be impossible (Kurtzer-White and Luterman, 2006).

He advocates the need to empower and facilitate in counseling; rather than taking over the responsibility of therapy from the parent or patient which leads to dependence and unrealistic reliance on the professional (Luterman, 1997; Luterman, 2010). For a parent of a newborn with hearing loss, it becomes imperative to take responsibility for the infant’s management with the Audiologists coaching. He has strongly recommended increased research on how to effectively counsel parents of infants who are identified through infant hearing screening programs as these parents differ from parents in the past that had some suspicion of a hearing impairment (Luterman, 2000).



Kurtzer-White, E., Luterman, D. (2003). Families and children with hearing loss: Greif and coping. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews. 9:4, p


Luterman, D. (1997). Emotional Aspects of Hearing loss. Volta Review. 99:5, p75-83.

Luterman. (2000). Audiology in the New Millennium. Audiology Online. Retrieved from

Luterman, D. (2006, March 21). The Counseling Relationship. ASHA Leader.

Luterman D. (2010) Ruminations of an Old Man–A 50-Year Perspective on Clinical Practice.