Monday, October 20, 2008

Hollins program

StutterTalk.com did an interview with Webster from the Hollins institute. A very large private clinic for the treatment of stuttering and they have the domain name stuttering.org! I have never looked at them very closely. I will listen to the interview and report back. Make up your own mind here.

9 comments:

Greg said...

HCRI is Stuttering.org, Tom. Stuttering.com is Martin F. Schwartz.

Tom Weidig said...

Thx. I will change it.

Adrian said...

Tom,

I have not listened to the Webster StutterTalk program (nor do I plan to) but I was a Hollins client for a quite a while and I have little good to say about the institute from a clinical standpoint.

I will give them some credit, they do an excellent job of creating a false fluency inside the clinic. Virtually everyone is fluent during the exit interview from which they take their highly appealing 90%+ success rates, but, in my experience, the vast majority cannot take this fluency into the real world for any real length of time.

Their success rates are the crux of their marketing success but have been used very unethically in my opinion.

In their marketing material they claim to be a leader in stuttering research. I have spoken with Webster and I do believe he is a highly intelligent and knowledgeable person, but I'm not sure how much meaningful research has come out of the institute.

Their technique is essentially Van Riper's fluency enhancing techniques applied to each and every syllable. Not sure how much research they needed to come up with that?

Anyway, I thought I would share my experience with the program. Anyone else been through Hollins?

Adrian

Anonymous said...

Not only don't the learned fluency techniques hold up in the real world, especially for moderate to severe stutterers, I believe that they know this to be true, yet sell you on the notion that PFSP is the only thing that can ever work. This keeps you coming back and shelling out thousands of dollars for diminishing returns.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have been through Hollins ALONG time ago. In fact, I went through it twice. The first time, I was way too young and was not serious about it. The second time, I had a lot of success.

In the end, I learned a lot from this and basically I do not do all that I learned from the program but actually use a lot of the things I learned.

I still stutter but nowhere near as much as I did prior to the course. Again, I really do not use all their techniques but just took what worked and ran with it.

I developed my own ways and adjusted to life as I went along and I'm happy. I still wake up every single day with the stuttering challenge. I still wish for that dream cure OR something close but I must admit to myself and I know I am rambling so sorry but I must admit. I am who I am today I believe because I stutter. I am who I am and I am proud of the successes that I have had in my life.

My career (which has been touch at times.

One thing that I have learned on my own in the work environment is I built strong relationships well that may be to big of a word but good working relationships with everyone possible. I find this to lessen the stress of stuttering at work because it relaxes me more when I approach my co-workers.

Again, still rambling but this feels good to type this out! :-)

In other words, anyone looking to go through this program, I definitely recommend it. I worked with some passionate people in the program that absolutely believed in all of us and the program and I think this made a difference.

Thank you all!

Dave

middlevillager said...

Tom,

I am starting to have serious conerns about the Hollins program.

I mean I already have had personal concerns about the Hollins progam and Dr. Webter and am considering legal avenues to complain but just take his postings at U Tube.

I have on many time posted respectable and professional and well thought out comments to the Hollins videos at U Tube. None of them have ever been printed and they are always reviewed first before considering that they be printed underneath the U TUBE Hollins videos.

Dr. Webster and his staff make every attempt to monitor criticisms of their therapy and block every one they deem undesirable which is ALL OF MINE.

Just go to U TUBE and you will see NO COMMENTS PRINTED THERE FOR ANY HOLLINS POSTING SO EVERYONE ELSE IS HAVING PROBLEMS.

What can you do about this and what do you think about this?

Anonymous said...

The Hollins Program is a very interesting program that really only works
>for a few people completely. There is no doubt that the majority of
>people, maybe even the 93% (claimed by Hollins) that complete the Hollins
>program, are fluent but this 93% fluency is measured on the last day of
>the program after a person has spent nearly 100 hours of practicing the
>Hollins speech "targets" as they are called, using electronic
>equipment/computers that provide feedback to the client in the highly
>supportive (of course) Hollins clinic starting with
> 2 second syllable
>durations to "slow normal" syllable durations.. After such heavy
>conditioning ( two second syllables!) it is no wonder that people are
>fluent, especially in a supportive environment like
>Hollins where the program is all about stuttering and helping stutterers
>and providing a program completely for stutterers. Now that is a lot of
>attention! So the person leaves assuming naturally that they will be just
>as fluent on the outside.  On the last day of the program I went into a
>cubicle and read some paragraphs and I was being videoed and was aware how
>fluent I was as I read but did not know why! because I really hadn't
>learned completely what I needed to know. The  problem is that the Hollins
>program is completely "laboratory derived" and not derived for use in the
>real world. A client is supposed to assume that the program works in the
>outside world and if he runs into a problem he is
> supposed to "exaggerate"
>the targets and/or practice more. The REAL problem with the Hollins
>program is how slowly a person talks when they are done. I mean how slowly
>a person talks after the Hollins program as compared with the people he
>has to talk to. Just look at the Hollins videos of people who just got
>done with the program,  yes they are fluent, yes they are happy being
>fluent and this makes perfect sense but they are talking so slowly it is
>hard to imagine how they can keep up a conversation with
>
>a normal speaking person let alone perform duties at a job interacting
>with other people, talking on the phone, etc. . If a person could accept
>how slowly they talk and be able to make people wait for him to finish and
>be able to not care how slowly they are getting their message across in
>spite of the interrupting that other people do, then people would be
>really successful with this program  I mean
> in the United States the vast
>majority of people talk very fast, talk over each other.  A person who
>uses the Hollins targets has to have nerves of steel and incredible
>patience and will power to be able to do all of this unless they were a
>mild stutterer in the first place like, well, the people that Hollins uses
>to advertise their program!!"
>

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with last person I went thru the program and had just about the same experience. I would like to add that Hollins like to advertise with stutterers like John Stoessel who was (obviously) a mild stutterer like Flaum Sanders who were also born with unique talents and/or good looks which makes anyone's life easier. dr Webster never makes any attempt to research why a person is not able to use the speech targets outside the clinic as well as they did inside the clinic. He says if they practice enought or exaggerate targets slightly that this will do it but it does not for many people. Dr Wbster is too interested in Apple applications for reinforcing the learning aspect of using speech targets but not for the using aspect. Hollins is in denial but also De webster is a behavior modification addict. His staff probably has the same ideas as me but is too afraid to say anything or they lose their job as many have done before. No one goes up against the mighty Professor behind the Hollins curtain......

Anonymous said...

Adrianne said that the Hollins technique is the Van Riper fluency enhancing technique Applied to each syllable. This is not true, Webster did a behavior analysis using basic info available for speaking different sounds and experimented until he came up with a combination of targets that resulted in fluent speech by compensating for difficulties most stutterers experience and then came up with a operant conditioning shaping program (Skinner) to teach and (maybe) condition the client. The only problem is that it works in the clinic for the client where there are no cues for stuttered speech and not in the outside world where there are cues everywhere unless one carefully arranges their life. His program does not override these cues and no conditioning actually takes place in the clinic. The sad part is that Webster thinks these ideas are false and that his program works and he refuses to address these concerns exceptg by coming up with modern day Apple apps that give the impression of doing something. Webster started as a hero and woundup as a phoney.