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Free From Stutter Team
There's a way we can help every person who stutters truly enjoy speaking interaction. For that, we want to start playing as a team.
Oct 13, 2022
7. Understanding stuttering better
Understanding stuttering better is the key to developing an efficient strategy with stuttering. If you're not quite satisfied with your speaking, with your clients' results or with how you feel about your kid's stuttering - start with understanding it better. * Stuttering is not a dot. It's not something that "just happens." It's a cycle that reproduces itself. * The first part of that cycle is insecure speaking structure. Which is basically lack of coordination, a mismatch between how our brain processes speech and speech mechanism. * The insecure speaking structure is the first big blind spot we usually don't quite recognise. We usually focus on speech impediments created by this insecure speaking structure. * "Everything is fine with me in general" - that's a very common deep feeling and belief among people who stutter. And it makes sense because most people who stutter would say that "I don't stutter alone." * This belief leads people who stutter to inaction, to not accepting the problem, to not working on the speaking structure. * Ironically, the opposite belief that "I have a predisposition so why bother?" also leads to the same inaction. * The third element of the cycle (after speaking structure and speech impediments) is negative colour attached to speech impediments. * It's pretty natural to feel physical and emotional tension when you want to say something fluently and it's not happening, when we feel out of control. * The more effort the more tension, embarrassment and negative feelings are attached to the very act of speaking interaction. * The fourth element of the cycle is anxiety and anticipation of stuttering. It's the background emotional state where we filter all our actions through the lens of risk and "danger" of stuttering. * This fourth element gets insecurity in the speaking structure to the whole new level. It's when we pick up the phone but we can't even say "H" in "Hello!" * So, here's the full cycle: insecure speaking structure —> speech impediments —> bad feelings about it —> anticipation and anxiety. * We want to see the cause-and-effect chain of the cycle. The anxiety is not coming out of the blue, our brain knows better. It's going to produce tension and anxiety as long as the speaking structure is insecure. * I put neurological predisposition in the very centre of this cycle. Insecure speaking structure comes from that predisposition. * Neurological predisposition is not something we can fix but that doesn’t mean that we can’t unlock this cycle. * We can create a new cycle where we feel great about speaking interaction. A new cycle that starts to reproduce itself. * For that, we want to bring security to the speaking structure and we want to feel proud of our improvement efforts. * Largely, it comes down to openly and proactively using the training speech and creating new real-life experiences. * This way we can create a totally new emotional state where we actually like being the spotlight, express ourselves fully and enjoy speaking interaction. * Creating this new cycle is a path of acceptance. Acceptance of insecurity of the speaking structure. Acceptance that it's OK to make a mistake. Acceptance that it's OK to be different. * Ironically, as long as we want to be "normal" we stutter. Only once we embrace being different that's when we finally can start feeling as a "regular" and "normal" person. As an action item and as a way to visualize the cycle we talked about go to this page and download the image of the Stuttering Cycle. And if you want to go deeper into understanding stuttering better sign up to watch the first part of the Free From Stutter Masterclass. https://www.freefromstutter.com/stuttering-cycle Full episode description: https://www.freefromstutter.com/podcasts/free-from-stutter-team/episodes/2147802429
Sep 3, 2022
6. Tools & Real life: the Gap
There is a huge gap between practicing tools at home and actually using them in real-life interactions. Sometimes we blame the tools. Sometimes we blame the therapist. But there's noone to blame! You just need to be very clear how to get through this gap! I have three action items for you: 1) Public speaking environment. 2) Disclosure. 3) Real-life recordings. Talk to you in the episode! If you want to go deeper into how you can close this gap I have a special free training for you. Link: Free From Stutter Masterclass
Aug 1, 2022
5. Parents: three practical steps how to help your stuttering kid.
As a parent of a child who stutters (stammers), you can help your child a lot! Actually, you're the one who can help the most! No matter how much time your child is practicing with a speech pathologist, your child absorbs as a sponge the way you speak and interact (not the way the speech pathologist speaks and interacts). Before the practical steps, let’s see what are the three possible parents' attitudes, approaches, and strategies toward stuttering. * The first approach could be along the lines of, "Don’t stutter, slow down, watch your speaking!" From the outside, it can look like something positive and motivating ("Come on! Calm down! You can do it! I believe in you!"), but it's the most traumatizing approach for a kid which makes stuttering bigger and stronger. * The second attitude is, "It’s OK to stutter, stutter on!" Even though it’s a beautiful approach, it sends a signal that there's nothing much we can do about stuttering. Which is not true. So, you could do something even more empowering. * The third strategy is "It’s OK to stutter, it’s not a crime, you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re always doing your best, yet there are tools how we can feel that speaking can be relaxing and how it can be something we can truly enjoy." Which gets us to the 3 practical steps I want to share. Three practical steps or exercises if you would, for parents of children who stutter. 1) Understand the speaking structure. Secure speaking structure is not about slowing down. It's about feeling the alignment in your speaking. 2) Use exactly the same training speech you want your child to use. All parents of children who stutter I've worked with had an insecure speaking structure to some extent. That’s OK for you, but that's not OK for your child! 3) Create an empowering emotional connection with your child. By using the training speech, you show that you truly care, on the one hand, and you give your child a secure pattern to follow, on the other hand (without any nagging advice). As an action item for you, go to the video below, play with the speaking structure, try to feel the training speech, and see how it can be relaxing. Link to the video: Stuttering & Consonants - Speech Exercises For "Hard" Sounds Link to the video: Asch conformity test
Jun 1, 2022
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.
Mar 23, 2022
3. The effectiveness of stuttering techniques
In this episode, we'll talk about how you can make sure that the stuttering techniques that you teach are actually effective, which means that they are effective not only in the therapy room but in real life and long term for your clients. In this episode you’ll hear and learn: * Whether people who stutter need any techniques in the first place. * Why the choice of the technique is important, but it's still just the 10% of the effectiveness. * Why the other 90% of the effectiveness is the ability to actually use the techniques or the training speech, as I call it, in real life. * A reminder of the speech therapy goals - take a listen to the previous episode. * Why it's basically cheating to say that it's the client's responsibility to actually use the techniques in real life. * Why it's so hard to use the techniques in real life and how you can truly understand your client. * 7 practical activities you can incorporate in your therapy plan to make sure that the techniques that you teach actually become part of your clients' everyday lives. As an action item for you, first of all, I invite you to take a look at the activities you currently have with your clients to make sure they use the techniques in real life. Can you enrich those activities? And second, I invite you to use the techniques yourself and actually experience how it feels to be a person who stutters firsthand.
Feb 13, 2022
Episode #2. The end goal of speech therapy for stuttering
Whether you're a parent, speech-language pathologist, or a person who stutters you want to begin with the end in mind. What is the end goal of the improvement efforts? It might seem obvious and kind of implied, but it's not that obvious! When we choose the obvious and implied we get on the wrong track that keeps people who stutter rambling around the same spot. In this episode you’ll hear and learn: * Why great strategies and practice are not enough * How to not lose track of the big picture * Why "NOT STUTTERING" is NOT the end goal * My story and how I came to my personal end goal with stuttering when I was 17 and when I struggled the most * That truly enjoying speaking interaction might seem to be an impossible goal but it's absolutely achievable * The differences between "not stuttering" and truly enjoying speaking interaction and being truly present to it * Why "not stuttering" as an end goal turns into escaping stuttering * How escaping stuttering feeds stuttering and makes it so strong and powerful * The core piece of stuttering - the automated emotional state associated with the act of speaking * Why sticking to "short-term fluency" doesn't get people who stutter any closer to the end goal * Why "long-term fluency" goes hand in hand with enjoying being in the spotlight of speaking interaction * How enjoying speaking interaction, in turn, goes hand in hand with the acceptance * When the real change, the real shift happens in general feeling about speaking interaction * How exploring helps to turn the emotional state of escaping into the emotional state of enjoying it As an assignment, as an action item, I would suggest writing down the end goal of the speech therapy for stuttering or the end goal of the improvement efforts the way you see it. And then write down the strategies that you use for that. I want to make sure that you're satisfied with how those strategies correspond with the end goal that you wrote down. If they are not corresponding well enough, then maybe it becomes food for thought to question those strategies or to change those strategies, or to enrich those strategies with some other strategies that are missing.
Jan 18, 2022
Episode #1. Free From Stutter Team
Whether you are a parent, speech-language pathologist, or a person who stutters you might feel isolated in your efforts. Why is it happening? What is it like to play as a team? This podcast is for parents of children who stutter. It’s for speech-language pathologists and other professionals who help people who stutter. And it’s also for people who stutter because the best thing a person who stutters can do for herself or himself is to see this process of getting free from stuttering not as taking medications or taking treatment but as a process where you, a person who stutters, is taking the key part. In this episode you’ll hear and learn: * What “Free From Stutter Team” is and who is on that team * How you can feel like you’re part of the team * Why all the team members should have the same goals and vision * What is the end goal of this journey * What parents can do to actually help * What speech-language pathologists can do to help * The way that we blame each other * How we can work together as a team * A reminder to not be ashamed of stuttering * How can you empower your children and clients As an action item, I suggest joining the Free From Stutter Facebook group to start feeling you're part of the team!