Stuttering is hard. Others don’t often understand how hard it can be for are a person who stutters. It can impact on every part of your daily life. You may feel a loss of control, of being stuck, of not being able to say and do what you want. (See The Invisible Challenges of Stuttering | Ruban Pillai | TEDxFolkestone)
Speech and language therapy has changed over the years. Twenty years ago, it was all about learning fluency tools, to make speech as fluent as possible. There has been a huge change in the stuttering world since, and speech and language therapists have learned from people who stutter, to help improve how they can help those who stutter.
The focus of stuttering therapy is now a balance of focusing on the emotional and physical aspects of stuttering, depending on what you need from therapy. It is on learning to not just accept your stutter, but to stutter the best you can. For example, block modification can still be very helpful for situations where you feel a loss of control and getting stuck. But another important goal a lot of people who stutter would like to focus on is to be a confident speaker.
As Speech and Language Therapists, we now help face the proverbial tiger (see https://www.frankybanky.com/the-ti-ger-analogy-of-stuttering/) in order to move to accept and even share stuttering with others. We are the cheerleaders, the gentle encouragers and the safe zone to practice, before moving out of the comfort zone. Together with you, we come up with a plan, with goals that suit you at that moment in time. We work together to help you get to a stage where you can confidently move forward in your speech, without anxiety and stress.
It is not an easy process. It takes a lot of courage and an ability to move out of your comfort zone for periods of time. But you can do it.
If you wonder whether you may need speech and language therapy support, you can complete the quick screener below.
Useful website: www.stammeringireland.ie (Support groups are periodically listed on the website.)