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April 21, 2004

Area's only deaf clinician joins Family Counseling Center

From: Review Appeal - Franklin,TN,USA - Apr 21, 2004

By STEPHEN HINES / Review Appeal Staff Reporter

Dr. Murdock Henderson, a resident of Brentwood, has recently joined the Family Counseling Center of the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Nashville.

Henderson is thought to be the state's only deaf clinician. He is certainly the only one in Middle Tennessee.

"We've been asked by members of the deaf community and those who work with the deaf and hard of hearing to make available counseling services that are appropriate for our consumers," said Dr. Les Hutchinson, League president and CEO and a licensed clinical psychologist.

"The League is now in a position to meet this need through the addition of a uniquely qualified counselor to our staff."

Henderson, who is deaf himself, is a post-doctoral clinical psychology fellow, holding a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University, a master's degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College in Chicago and a certificate in alcohol and drug counseling education from the University of Minnesota.

He completed his doctoral work in clinical psychology in 2003 at Wheaton College and a pre-doctoral internship at the University of Miami Medical School in Florida.

Henderson uses American Sign Language, speaking and speech reading to communicate with his clients. When needed, interpreters can assist in providing services.

"Skilled therapists need to read between the lines with anyone — deaf or not — by watching nonverbal cues such as gestures, body language and eye contact while listening or watching to what the person is saying," Henderson explained.

League services are geared to help people talk about and resolve their individual or family issues, leading to more fulfilling lives.

"Many people — hearing, deaf or hard of hearing — face concerns every day that can affect their lives," Henderson said.

"It might be a lack of communication in a marriage or family problems with children. For some it could mean depression, concerns over the health of an elderly family member or a dependency on alcohol, food or drugs. In any case, unresolved issues can rob a person of happiness."

Seeing a counselor does not mean someone is mentally ill, according to Henderson.

"In fact, it's a very healthy thing to recognize that the sadness, disappointment or fear you might be feeling can be changed," he said.

"Issues such as addiction or anger in a family or a relationship affect more than one person."

Henderson provides services in the areas of depression, substance abuse, marriage counseling, family issues, stress or anxiety, emotional issues, domestic violence and psychological evaluations and medication management.

The League's services are available in collaboration with Family and Children's Services and Centerstone Community Mental Health Centers Inc. in Nashville/Davidson County.

Appointments with Dr. Henderson can be made by calling 248-8828 (voice/TTY).

Staff Reporter Stephen Hines can be contacted at

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