Holly Elliott

Teach Me to Love Myself
Memoir of a Pioneering Deaf Therapist

Memoir, Deaf Culture, Women’s Studies
ISBN: 978-1-935052-08-1
5.5 x 8.5
128 pages

October, 2008

Holly Elliott was familiar with forging new paths. As she describes in her memoir, Teach Me to Love Myself, she was probably the first professionally trained deaf counselor-therapist in the United States. In her initial position as intern and then staff member at the University of California Center on Deafness, she became an advocate of total communication-a combination of sign language, lip-reading and oral competency that was a new horizon for rehabilitation therapy for the deaf. She was one of the first individuals with inner-ear nerve degeneration to receive a prototype cochlear implant and, several years later, one of the first to have an implant upgraded. Finally, in a more general sense of pathbreaking, she made a courageous career shift at mid-life. After twenty-five years of marriage and child-rearing, she accepted her deafness and embarked on a retraining that eventually led to a distinguished professional career.

Holly Elliott was an unusual role model for women of her time, and still speaks to our twenty-first-century experience.