Monday, August 04, 2008

Reduction of stuttering severity

I am on the mailing list of STUTT-L, and I like this post by Gunnars Neiders. Especially, the Gaining insight alone does not help strikes me fatally!
I believe that reduction of all the significant dimensions of stuttering is a valid goal of stuttering therapy. The main dimensions of stuttering are:

1) Disruption of the communication process,

2) Secondaries (eye blinks, pursing of lips, head jerks, snapping fingers, etc.,

3) Distressing emotions of anxiety, shame, etc.,

4) Avoidances of sounds, words, situations,

5) Unhelpful ... attitudes, beliefs or self-talk ("I can't stand stuttering" instead of "I don't like it, that's OK, I can stand it anyway"; "Stuttering makes a person less worthwhile as a human being" instead of "There are inconveniences associated with stuttering and sometimes I may lose out on some of the goodies of life due to stuttering, but I can unconditionally accept myself, I am just as worthy to myself, whether I stutter or not", etc.),

6) Self-limitation in social and vocational settings. (not pursuing career of choice, limiting socializing, etc.)

There are techniques to reduce all of them. Gaining insight alone does not help. There are homework assignments that help; but learning exercises does not help if one is not inclined or does not find it cost effective to do massive practice. Some techniques are more efficient than others. Six things that hold back a persons are:

a) perfectionism/all or nothing thinking (I either succeed to completely change, or it is not worth my while),

b) not knowing what type of homework exercises to do,

c) learned helplessness ("Since I have failed in the past, I will always fail),

d) not experimentally trying all types of techniques to find out what works,

e) not having persistence and

f) the self- formal therapy not being cost efficient.

If the cost in time, energy, money, etc. is too big for the effective results, it just is not worth it. It would be silly to pursue a goal in life which is too expensive, too dear.

1 comment:

Renê said...

I have followed all these steps for 4 years. Even so, the severity of my stuttering did not lessen.

These advices are very pretty when written in the paper, but they have little practical usefulness in the reduction of the stuttering.