4. Speech therapy: fluency vs acceptance

Fluency or acceptance? Or both? Or maybe something else? How do you measure success of speech therapy for stuttering? How do you help your clients achieve success in their speaking goals?

Well, even though fluency seems to be the obvious goal, measure and simply the opposite of stuttering, the short answer is… acceptance. 

In this episode you’ll hear and learn:

  • Why stuttering feels wrong and bad. Helplessness and desire to belong.
  • How to see and help your clients recognize the invisible 90% of stuttering. 
  • How shame turns into hiding stuttering which turns into tension, anxiety, anticipation, avoidance and a new automated emotional state that we know as stuttering. 
  • Why to say “stuttering is OK” is not enough to feel great about speaking interaction. 
  • We think we increase fluency then confidence goes up and then we feel great about speaking interaction. Well, it doesn’t work this way. Focusing on fluency means stuttering.
  • Why focusing on fluency leads to relapses. 
  • Three stages of acceptance.  
  • Why is it so hard for a person who stutters to simply accept that “I stutter.” 
  • How acknowledging a predisposition or difference is the first big step towards acceptance.
  • What kind of identity shift your clients really need.

As an action item for you, I want you to see the big picture of your process with adults who stutter. Are you working on fluency or acceptance? What is your measure of success? Is there an identity shift in your process? I want you to think in terms of “BE-DO-HAVE” where before your clients HAVE something new (long-lasting fluency) they need to DO something new (openly use the training speech), and even before they can do that they need to tap into BEing someone new (new identity). 

If you want to go deeper into how you can help adults who stutter, I invite you to my free training on one core thing you want to work on with your clients.