Loss, meaning making, & reconstruction of narratives in adults enduring tinnitus exacerbated by exposure to sound.

  • Benjamin Greenberg American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
  • Korie Leigh Mills College, Oakland CA
Keywords: tinnitus, hyperacusis, sound-sensitive tinnitus, mental health, quality of life, counseling, clinical psychology, psychotherapy

Abstract

Tinnitus is an auditory processing disorder involving frequently distressing levels of sound perception without corresponding external stimuli. In many cases, a complicating factor is the exacerbation of tinnitus intensity and pain following exposure to even moderate sounds, which can profoundly impact mental health and quality of life. Although more detrimental to patient suffering and more challenging to treat clinically, the experience of tinnitus exacerbated by sound is still poorly understood, as are implications for clinical practice and counseling. Considering that millions of people worldwide suffer from tinnitus and heightened auditory sensitivity to the point of disability, this qualitative study sought to identify relevant factors in encountering this complex disorder in clinical and counseling work. Thematic analysis of 418 unique open-ended question responses revealed themes of loss, psychological impact, inadequate understanding, crises of meaning, and solutions.  Psychological interventions and the evidence basis of various theoretical methodologies are discussed.

Author Biographies

Benjamin Greenberg, American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco
Benjamin Greenberg is a doctoral PsyD canditate at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Greenberg is also currently chief doctoral intern at California Pacific Medical Center hospital in San Francisco, California.
Korie Leigh, Mills College, Oakland CA

Korie Leigh is a graduate professor in the Mills College School of Education, where she teaches courses on qualitative research methods, death and dying, lifespan development, creative expression, and clinical skills. Holding a PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, Dr. Leigh is an active speaker, lecturer, and researcher, and has over 15 years clinical experience in Child Life, Thanatology, and Clinical Counseling.

Published
2018-04-11