Consumers’ Corner The Role of Self-Help/Support in Stuttering Therapy Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   September 01, 1997
Consumers’ Corner
Author Notes
Article Information
Consumer's Corner
Viewpoint   |   September 01, 1997
Consumers’ Corner
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, September 1997, Vol. 7, 5. doi:10.1044/ffd7.2.5
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, September 1997, Vol. 7, 5. doi:10.1044/ffd7.2.5
(Excerpted from a presentation made at the Division 4 Fourth Annual Leadership Conference held April 30-May 3 in Tucson, AZ.)
One advantage of self-help/support groups is the ongoing support system, safety net, and springboard that self-help/support group provides. In my opinion, developing or incorporating a solid support structure must be included in any therapy for stuttering, particularly chronic stuttering. It is true that the support system can be the therapist, the family, spouse, siblings, best friend, teacher, etc. or a combination of those. However, even the most loving and best intentioned individuals lack the basic understanding of what it is like to live in a world that does not stutter and often has very little patience for those who do. And let's be honest with each other…many speech-language pathologists are ill-equipped, without the counseling skills or experience necessary to deal with many of the issues that stutterers have surrounding their stuttering. At a recent National Stuttering Project Workshop I added a segment regarding disclosure. While the sample size is small, the information is relevant. I first asked participants to write down who they felt comfortable with discussing their stuttering. Then I asked them to write down how often they talked about their stuttering with these individuals. A master list was made on the board of the responses. The individuals ranged from parents to spouse, from sibling to best friend, to no-body. The frequency ranged from once or twice a year to only when there is an important issue, to never. Then we discussed the value of talking about stuttering and how they unanimously agreed that they felt better, had more confidence, and had less fear of speaking when they were able to speak openly, freely, and frankly about their speech. In short, they all agreed that attending self-help/support group meetings regularly was of great benefit. Conclusion: If you want to improve your outcomes in therapy, incorporate a self-help/support group in your treatment plan.
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