Monday, May 30, 2005

Why do only the young go to therapy?

Today, I am trying something new, namely to publish a picture on my blog. It is a bit of tedious process and the quality is not great. The graph that I want to show you is the age profile of the people who attended the Kassel Stuttering Therapy (KST). The sample contains more than 300 patients. To get a better resolution, you can click on the picture.

AgeProfileKST Posted by Hello

The picture clearly shows that the majority of the patients are young, under 30. Now, it is interesting to speculate why only young people go to the therapy. Here are some reasons why they don't feel the need to go to therapy:

1. They don't need it, because the severity of their stuttering has decreased with age.

2. They don't need it, because they don't or suffer less despite them still having the same severity as always. For example, they got used to jokes or the inability/difficulty to speak out on an issue, which makes it less hurting.

3. They don't feel the pressure from society anymore, because they have settled down with a permanent job, a partner, children, etc.

4. They are fed up going to therapies, because they have done several ones without any apparent long-term success. So why try another therapy?

5. The therapy uses computer, and they are unsure that they can use them. Also, they need a computer to practise at home, and might not have a computer.

My opinion is: I don't believe in 1). 2) and 3) are relevant, but I still think that if I give them the choice between getting 100'000 dollars or having no speech impediment, they will choose no speech impediment. And the real reason is in my view 4). I am not sure about 5), but I dont think it is very important.

This graph really shows that older people with PDS have really given up on therapies, and that therapists are unable to get older people to take part, which in my view is a devastating verdict on therapy. And I suspect this is relevant for all types of therapy?


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Anonymous said...

Hi Tom, my name is Sean Mooney. I have spoken with you before at some BSA functions etc. Firstly, congratulations on your championing of the latest scientific evidence into the nature of stammering. Far too many stammerers are completely unaware of the research evidence that currently exists and the implications of it. On this particular point, speakng as someone who did a number of therapy courses at the City Lit several years ago and used to attend BSA functions, my problem is that with a full time job, 2 young kids and a wife that works and full weekends, I simply don't have much time to even think about my stammer let alone do anything about it. I guess I have come to terms with it more over the years, but lack of 'me time' is the main reason why I stopped going to therapy or attending support groups, not because the problem went away.