How Bad Do You Stutter?

[ Contents | Search | Next | Previous | Up ]

Re: How bad do you stutter

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 03 Oct 2007
Time: 15:06:29 -0500
Remote Name:


Hello Deann, First of all my congratulations in taking a counseling course! Stuttering therapy is more about counseling than it is about the mechanisms of speech. That's one of the most fundamental shifts in the stuttering SLP profession in the last fifty years. So absolutely you're doing the right thing! Keep it up! ..... You asked, "... how much counseling your SLPs provided in helping you ...?" The answer to that question is absolutely zero. It wasn't their fault however. Back in the 1950's they simply didn't know. No one did. But we know now! The stuttering iceberg was introduced by Joe Sheehan in about 1970 and it began a sea change in thinking about stuttering therapy. (See my 2003 ISAD paper at for more details of this.) The iceberg shows in graphic detail how much psychology is involved in stuttering. While not a primary cause, psychology plays a MAJOR part in modern effective stuttering therapy. If you don't know about counseling, you're not going to be an effective stuttering therapist. It's as simple as that. If I could wave a magic wand over the curriculum of what is required to be an effective stuttering therapist, I'd make several courses in counselling an absolute requirement. ..... The iceberg shows a map of the entire picture of stuttering. And it's easy to see that you work with the TOP of the iceberg with relatively standard fluency shaping techniques - which is really pretty easy stuff. However the BOTTOM of the iceberg requires the understanding of the psychological aspects of stuttering. To work below the waterline of the iceberg, it takes psychological counselling tools, not fluency shaping tools. But to do really good job as an SLP specializing in stuttering, you have to be a good iceberg engineer! <grin> You've got to work ALL OVER the iceberg! ..... I had to come to this realization all by myself - with the hours and hours of discussions with my friends and the professionals in the NSA. But now that we all KNOW what to do, we can simply TELL new clients about the total iceberg. It would have been soooo much easier that way! ..... My advice to you is to just keep on moving in the direction you're moving. You're definitely going the right way! You might even consider taking MORE psychology courses, maybe even majoring in psychology and counselling as well as speech pathology. The more you know about counselling the better off you're going to be. ..... Good luck to you in school, Deann. You're going to make a wonderful SLP - and counsellor - one day! ..... My very best to you, ..... Russ

Last changed: 10/22/07