Historically the goal with stuttering therapy has been to “fix” the stutter. To learn fluency strategies and practice, practice, practice until they become second nature. Ask many adults who stutter about their experiences with speech therapy for stuttering and you will hear repeatedly how frustrating it was for them, how they may have felt let down because they couldn’t ever use their tools in the real world, maybe they felt like something was wrong with them because they couldn’t use their tools whenever they wanted. Maybe many of them were frustrated with speech therapy because they were always treated like they were broken and that they weren’t ok the way they were. In short, many people have had frustrating experiences with stuttering therapy.
I want to offer a different approach, some different thoughts. These aren’t new ideas, they’re ideas that have been around for quite some time thanks to Joseph Sheehan and Vivian Sisskin. I want to approach stuttering treatment from the perspective of reducing the struggle. The idea here is that it is the struggle that impedes the forward flow of conversation, and that it is absolutely possible to stutter in an easier and more confident way, leading to speech that is more forward flowing.
See how pizza can be used as an analogy for making changes in your communication.
3 somewhat unconventional thoughts about stuttering
How is stuttering like Jack and The Beanstalk?
How is stuttering like a cup of coffee?
These ideas are based on work from Vivian Sisskin and Joseph Sheehan.
Bailey Levis, MS, CCC-SLP is a licensed Speech and Language Pathologist practicing in San Francisco, CA.