The successful speech therapy for stuttering, I believe, should involve just three steps, three elements, three action items. One, two and three.
Well, it's not that simple though. Let's take a look.
As a person who stutters, I've taken a couple of therapies myself. I've seen people succeeding and failing (the latter was a more frequent option.) While I improved after my therapy, I couldn't say I got free from stuttering. In hindsight, I think I understand why.
Now, I'm trying to help other people who stutter and who go through the same struggle as I did.
So this is the insight from two perspectives - a person who stutter (both failing and succeeding in getting free from stuttering) and a person who tries to help others. Not just informing, explaining and showing, but working face-to-face in the trenches (thanks so much to those who show up at the video calls in my Improve Program - kudos to you guys, you let me understand stuttering and getting free from stuttering much better.)
So, the three steps.
Our speaking box just follows what our entire body is saying. I probably need to add our mind and emotional state, but I really don't want to separate mind from body. For me here, it's just one whole.
I say "body" because that's what we feel so tangibly. We want to feel the joy of speaking, being relaxed, confident and present in the moment, connecting with that person in front of us.
There are many ways how we can do that. I'm sharing one in the video. I call it a "balloon exercise." You inflate like a balloon and then deflate letting air out without any pressure, relaxing. Then you put some sounds and words on top of that air. So it's one breathing out with something that you say in a relaxing way.
For some people, this understanding becomes the way to freedom from stuttering. Emily Blunt with her acting, for example.
If you take an acting class or course, you'll discover that acting perfectly encompasses that "understanding your body and speaking box." Relaxation, breaking the tension, meditation, being present, awareness, mindfulness, singing, dancing, being fit, expression, articulation and a bunch of other things. Sorry, if I missed something.
I (probably like most of us) am a very objective person. That means I want to see the result now. If I don't see it's working now, I don't believe it and lose interest. I lack patience.
So, that means I (and probably most of you too) need some tool, some way, some technique how to get through speech impediments. How to know for sure that I can say what I want fluently.
There are many ways how we can do that. From whisper and shouting to singing and rhythmical speaking. Not all of those ways by far can be used in real life settings. Not all of those ways create a new speaking pattern either.
I'm on a journey of discovering various ways how we can do it. The best way so far that I know is synchronizing our speaking with our hand motions and using the hand as a foundation for our speaking.
I show in the video how we can "extract" sounds using our fingers.
That's the hardest thing.
Like when you learn to drive a car you don't drive fast the first time. You start slow. So our training speech is slower that our regular choppy and fast speaking. It takes courage to face fear and play (speak) on your terms.
Again, not sure which stuttering technique you choose to use. Talking about using hand, we try to make it close to regular speaking by giving colors, adding intonations, and putting several sounds on each finger, but it's still slower, it's still visible.
The best thing about this hand method that it builds up your new muscle memory, your body "gets it" that you can say whatever you want without speech impediments. You start feeling it, and you want to experience that again and again, conquering new situations and settings, expanding your "land" further.
As you build your confidence, you realize that you've built a new automated pattern, and you don't need your hand technique anymore. You enjoy speaking. You can say that you got free from stuttering.
By "do it yourself" I mean you need to take ownership for the whole process of getting free from stuttering. It's not like going to the dentist. It's like playing a team game.
When you "do it yourself" you realize that you need to get out of your shell and not do it alone. Because speaking at its core involves somebody else, it's about connecting with other people. It's always situational.
So, you're the founder of this project. Take full ownership. And don't do it alone.
Would love to know how you're getting free from stuttering. Go ahead and leave a comment about your experiences with the speech therapy for stuttering.
If you are a person who stutters,
and you're not quite satisfied with how you feel at the moment of speaking interaction
I invite you to my free training where I share my view on getting free from stuttering.
And for more interaction,
join the Free From Stutter Facebook group.
Please, don't stay isolated! It's crucial to feel you’re part of the community!
If you have thoughts or observations, anything that comes to your mind - let me know in the comments!
Thank you so much! See you soon!