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

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Re: Psychological Factors

From: Ilia Rasskazov, Natalia Rasskazova
Date: 21 Oct 2007
Time: 03:32:25 -0500
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Dear Nora, The subconscious, as a rule, excludes the involvement of the conscious mind. A person does not consciously control the beating of his heart or his liver functions. Even when we walking, we are not consciously thinking about how we are moving our legs as we do so – our subconscious takes care of that for us. Even as you read this, you are not consciously thinking about how each combination of letters you see creates a word or a combination of words. This is also the work of your subconscious mind. When you want to say something to someone, you have a feeling and an idea but, when you open your mouth to say whatever it is you are thinking or feeling, your subconscious is also helping you form your speech. Speech is a subconscious process and when the conscious mind gets involved, we may see disturbances. Here in Russian, we have two main approaches to speech therapy: 1) distract the speaker from his/her own speech and, 2) focus the speaker’s attention on his/her own speech. For those who do not stutter when alone, the first approach listed above is normally more effective. For them, it is better to somehow distract themselves from their own speech when they are communicating with others. Keeping all of this in mind, we see that it is the work of a psychologist to distract a person from his/her own speech while a speech therapist will try to focus a person on his/her own speech quality. If you are interested, Jolene Lindsey’s question was also related to this topic.

Last changed: 10/25/07