Iceberg of Stuttering

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Re: "It's the emotional baggage, stupid!"

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 10/13/03
Time: 9:43:43 AM
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Hey Howard,

Stuttering, kind of like cancer, is not a single condition with only one cause and one cure. It's an "umbrella" condition encompassing a wide variety of causes and treatments. I'm convinced in my own mind that MY stuttering definitely has a neurological/genetic root. Oh yeah, I had a lot of emotional baggage CAUSED by my speech, but I don't think that baggage was there at the start.

And to this day my stuttering is obvious to the point that I could never do what you do. I wouldn't be afraid to do it, but I know that your announcing job just wouldn't fit my speech patterns. I'm not tall enough to play in the NBA either! <smile>

So I totally accept your feelings that you think your stuttering has psychological roots. From reading your paper and your comments here, that makes a lot of sense to me.

By the way, you were at Shady Trails in 55 and 62, right? I was there in 50, 51, 54, and 57. Did your therapy there ever address your emotions at all? I'm 95% certain that mine did NOT. I certainly don't remember ever even talking about that. We concentrated on slow speech, phrasing, blending, relaxation, and the control of secondary symptoms. Total "fluency shaping" in today's terminology. Stuttering bad, fluency good. I never made Beta Sigma Chi (Better Speech Club) because they thought I wasn't trying hard enough... That was pretty disappointing for me, and all that did was add to the bottom of my iceberg - which they never acknowledged.

All that being said, I had a great time at Shady Trails. I really grew up there. Just didn't have any long term stuttering improvement results. Fifty years later I still stutter - with no secondaries and almost no fear. Like you, I would really have profited from psychological therapy - but they just didn't recognize the bottom of the iceberg in those days.

Interesting, isn't it?


Last changed: September 12, 2005