Why Do So Many Stutterers Fail to Stutter When Alone and How Can This Phenomonen Be Used in Treatment?

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Re: Questions about further potential studies on stuttering in pu...

From: Ilia Rasskazov, Natalia Rasskazova
Date: 08 Oct 2007
Time: 02:01:32 -0500
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Dear Erin, Thank you for your thought-provoking question! It goes without saying that many researchers have tried to study the relationship between stuttering and stress. Often the contradictory results are produced (acoustic startle response by B.Guitar and P. Alm). It is possible that the reason for the phenomena is related to the fact that speech is a delicate and highly sensitive process reflecting the psychological state of the speaker. Physiological parameters (heart rate, skin pigment reactions, acoustic startle response, etc) are a “quick test” of a person’s psychological state which indicates the person’s strong emotions. For the more serious research of the mutuality of stuttering and the psychology of communication, psychological methods of evaluation and clinical tests such as Lebowietz, SPIN and others may prove to be very useful. The purpose of our on-line testing was to draw the attention or researchers to the question. The clinical research of stuttering in situations of “isolation” should include: exact age, genetic background, anamnes vitae et morbi, psychological state and objective evaluation of the level of stuttering in situations of communication and isolation (audio recordings). Furthermore, the idea that people deny psychological discomfort in communication situations is not something which relates only to those who stutter. For example, many people with social phobias are convinced that this phobia is simply part of their personality and that it cannot be changed. As regards your last question, it is well-known that many actors will stop stuttering while playing a role which requires them to change their speech patterns. Work with tempo-rhythm and intonation should lead to a change in psychological state and allow for the creation of a “new you”. This allows the subject to rid him/herself of stuttering. Mechanical or dishonest intonation and a lack of understanding of the psychological significance of pauses, tempo-rhythm, etc will have no effect.

Last changed: 10/25/07