Iceberg of Stuttering

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Re: Iceberg analogy

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 10/17/03
Time: 9:28:47 PM
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Hello Lorna,

Boy, you sure know my hot buttons, don't you? Ha, ha, ha!

Yes, I think it would be fabulous if SLPs were given a course - or courses, plural - on counseling. If 90% of the stuttering problem is under water, why shouldn't 90% of the courses be focused on that? Great idea!

An SLP played NO role in helping me work with underwater issues. Bearing in mind, however, that they didn't ever KNOW about the underwater issues back in the 1950's. Joe Sheehan introduced the stuttering iceberg in about 1970 and the speech pathology profession is just now starting to realize how important it is. But just because no SLP was able to help ME, that's absolutely no sign that YOU, as a modern day SLP, shouldn't be able to help other people - especially if you've had a course in counseling! It took me nearly 40 years to learn what I've learned and nowadays it certainly shouldn't take that long. You'll be able to understand and explain things to your clients which should take DECADES off their problem. I envy your future clients!

Do I recommend self help groups and Toastmasters? Well let me explain it this way: On a 1-10 scale, my recommendation would be in the 5,000 range. Bottom line YES!!!!!!!! (How can I make that in bold, red, flashing, underlined, enormous font?)

Self help/support groups are the best thing ever invented to help stutterers deal with the underwater issues. Go to and you can locate a National Stuttering Association chapter near you. Couple that with good top-of-the-iceberg therapy, plus the therapist going WITH YOU to a support group, and you can conquer the world. Absolutely. What a dynamite combination! And if the therapist has had courses in psychology and counseling, it just doesn't get any better than that!

Well yes it can... Add Toastmasters on top of that and it's almost better than... ah... sliced bread! (<smile> Notice I said "almost." ha, ha!) Toastmasters helps anyone to vastly improve their COMMUNICATION and leadership skills and gives people boosts of confidence that is hard to imagine. The positive feedback and encouragement you get in Toastmasters meeting helps in almost all areas of your life. It's one of the most incredible organizations that I've ever been a part of. No, Toastmasters isn't speech therapy, per se, but it gives you continuing practice speaking and learning to effectively communicate. Fluency and communication are two different concepts. I've been very successful in Toastmasters and I still stutter noticeably. Got to and get started! Believe me, it's FUN and you'll be glad you did!

Joining both the NSA and Toastmasters are two of the best things that YOU will ever do for yourself, Lorna. And once you understand what both organizations do, you can bring your clients to these organizations with you. I know of no better formula for success in your profession. (Well, that and studying hard in school of course!)

Good luck in school and your career, Lorna. You're starting off in the right direction for sure! I know you'll do well!


Last changed: September 12, 2005