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URMC / Deaf Wellness Center / Clinical Services

Clinical Services

The Deaf Wellness Center (DWC) provides mental health evaluation and counseling services to deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, deaf disabled, late-deafened, and CODA adults (17 years or older) in New York state.

We provide individual counseling for adults (age 17 years or older) in New York state .

Individual counseling is for

  • mental health problems (depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc.)
  • grief
  • stress
  • cultural or identity conflicts
  • difficult changes or life situations
  • or simply processing and talking through a problem/situation

You may meet with a counselor in person in our offices or remotely through Zoom or by Video Phone.

Counseling will begin with an intake assessment to learn about you and your unique situation.

You will work with your counselor to establish goals and a treatment plan for your counseling sessions.

Our counselors are licensed and trained in a variety of therapies including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Person-centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and more.

We provide couples counseling for you and your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, roommate, friend, co-worker, or any other significant person in your life.

Couples counseling focuses on

  • improving your communication and problem-solving skills as a couple
  • resolving conflict in your relationship
  • co-parenting issues
  • processing difficult situations together
  • improving the quality of your relationship
  • discussing any other issues you may be facing as a couple

Your counselor will help you identify the problems you want to address and how you want to improve as a couple to establish goals for your sessions

Couples counseling may be provided in person or remotely through Zoom or Video Phone. 

We provide family therapy to help families build stronger relationships, improve communication, and manage conflicts.

We work with all kinds of family members including:

  • biological and adopted family members
  • parents
  • children
  • stepfamily members
  • grandparents
  • aunts, uncles, and cousins
  • other extended family members

Your counselor will help you identify problems or challenges, improve your communication and understanding of different family members, and help you develop skills to improve your interactions with each other.

We offer both in-person and remote sessions through Zoom or Video Phone, so you can choose what works best for your family's needs.

We provide different opportunities for group therapy depending on current interests.

Group therapy is when people meet together to learn skills from the therapist(s) and receive support from each other through shared experiences.

Groups we have offered in the past include:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy groups include emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.
  • mindful eating group
  • social skills group

Services may be provided in person, remotely through Zoom, or in hybrid form.

You may ask your individual counselor or email us at any time to find out what groups are currently being offered.


We provide medication consultations and ongoing medication management for any of our clients who are interested.

Medications can be helpful in reducing the symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc., to maximize the benefits of counseling.

You can also discuss alternative options for treatment, such as light therapy, supplements, etc., with our medication provider.

Our psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychiatrists do not sign, so we utilize ASL and Deaf interpreters or captioning for your sessions.


Request an appointment, refer a client or ask a question.

Contact Us

Clinical Service Mission

The Deaf Wellness Center provides direct psychiatric, psychological, and social services that are linguistically accessible, culturally affirmative, and effective in enhancing quality of life. We also provide consultation and advocacy to institute positive change in systems relevant to deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Our priorities include the development, application, and evaluation of innovative clinical service approaches, provision of services that support our research and training missions, and programs that address local and regional service inadequacies. We actively pursue cooperative ventures with public and private entities that can assist in achieving these clinical service goals.

Billing & Insurance

Before your first appointment, a Strong Behavioral Health financial counselor will advise you of the Department of Psychiatry’s payment policies, accepted insurance, and payment options. If you have limited income, you may qualify for our sliding fee scale. Please contact us for more information

Consultations and Forensic Work

Robert Pollard, former director of the Deaf Wellness Center, frequently provides consultation services to various individuals and organizations through his adjunct work at the University. Dr. Pollard frequently consults with universities and other organizations regarding making education and training programs accessible and effective for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and trainees. He has provided research consultation to several universities and research programs, focusing on study design, validity issues in research data involving deaf subjects, and cross-cultural research ethics in the deafness field.

Dr. Pollard frequently consults attorneys and judges regarding deaf individuals involved in the legal system in both civil and criminal cases. He has provided expert witness testimony in dozens of U.S. and Canadian cases. Often, these cases involve the conduct of psychological assessments of deaf defendants or plaintiffs. In some cases, other colleagues from the University of Rochester Medical Center who have expertise in special topic areas will assist in the DWC's consultation and forensic work. Fees for consultation and forensic work vary; email Dr. Pollard for details.