Prior Therapy?

From: Judy Kuster
Date: 10/1/99
Time: 10:48:52 AM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Thank you for your interesting accounts. They all provide insight into Van Riper that one cannot read in a text!
Did any of you have any speech therapy prior to college? 

Judy

Re: Prior Therapy?

From: Gretchen Fifer
Date: 10/1/99
Time: 3:25:22 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Yes, and I will never forget the day Eve Burdick (the ST) came into the 6th grade class room and the teacher
pointed at me and one other girl that I knew "talked funny." I was sent to speech in the 7th grade, but I never
liked it and I know that she was on the right track with her therapy ideas -- she was using the book "Know
Yourself" by Bryngleson. It was me that failed at therapy, not her. Denial, denial. 

Gretchen

Previous therapy

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/2/99
Time: 8:50:01 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.207.54

Comments

Back in the dark ages, 1930's one was luck (?) to find a person who could treat stuttering. They were usually
a singing coach, a "former" stutterer, friend or relative. I had them all. When I went to school, about the 40's
the school that I went to had a qualified SLP, but I didnt want to be different so I rejected therapy. Pretty
dumb eh? How different can a hard core stutterer be anyway? I remember a voice coach who was so pleased
that I could say my name one time that she ran out into the hall and called to one of her peers to come in an
listen to her prized pupil say his name. What a surprise was in store. This person entered the room and, of
course,I couldn't talk. Ha Ha. 

Re: Previous therapy

From: agnello
Date: 10/2/99
Time: 9:54:18 PM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.150

Comments

I should tell that story about when u were stopped for speeding in that little town of Stevens Point u, maxine,
and I had to tell the officer our names and all three of us had the twisted tongue curse,,,,and could not say our
names....

Joe Agnello

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/2/99
Time: 8:56:44 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.207.54

Comments

I guess my first post didn't go thru to you, so I willtry again. I can't imagine you, the original bull in a china
shop, being intimidated by anyone. Your students must really appreciate your many stuttering stories. You are
a really bright guy and I am happy to learn of your many achievements. Maxine sends her best.

Gretchen Fifer

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/2/99
Time: 9:01:32 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.207.54

Comments

What a surprise! Glad to hear that you are still kicking. Old memories don't die do they. Stuttering is a never
ending battle,but it can be licked to the satisfaction of the person and you are a good example.

gretchen fifer

From: agnello
Date: 10/2/99
Time: 10:14:22 PM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.150

Comments

great to hear from u....I always thaught u were pretty neat...glad hear your doing so well 

Time, Objectivity, and Allegiance

From: Joe Kalinowski
Date: 10/4/99
Time: 12:36:05 PM
Remote Name: 150.216.147.209

Comments

I was recently talking to a doctoral student of ours at ECU and wondering where stuttering research and
therapy was going. I suggested a parallelism between stuttering therapy, psychoanalysis, Communism, the
United States (Civil War) and other areas…it seems that between 50 and 75 years is where we see the making
or breaking of ideas--after the founders have passed on and issues of allegiance and indebtedness have
receded… 

I suggested that we are now at a point when the cohesiveness of the trailblazers and their indebtedness of
gratitude towards the "fathers of the field" (which does not allow for questioning of technique and purpose) is
at an end. We will now see the true lasting power of the Van Riperian, Johnsonian, Sheehan etc.. schemata
without the passion of allegiance, trust, and indebtedness …. 

Time will be the final judge of the value of their works--and all of our works….. When we are too close to a
topic or too aligned to a school of thought or an individual --we can never have objective distance…. 

Just to let you know-- some of Van Riper's letters to me are framed and on my wall in my office…. not too
much distance here 

Re: Time, Objectivity, and Allegiance

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 10:32:55 AM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Don't confuse old memories with the reality that things do change. I appreciate your saying that letters from
the past adorne your walls. Mine are in my memory, but I have learned that people change and my profession
has changed too. You and your research are a prime example of that. But, I learned too that humanism is a
part of the best therapy that we have to offer. The cookbook experts treat and want everyone to be the same.
Poor souls, they just don't get it! Our brothers and sisters deserve much more than that. And those that hide
behind their "perfect" research studies without stating their type of therapy for all of us to see and learn from
don't get it either. I am sick and tired of reading all the footnotes and the pompous statistics without their own
study of the application of their therapy. Where to Brutus? Let's move forward and share our therapies.
Thanks for your reasoned observations.

Re: Time, Objectivity, and Allegiance

From: Andrew Stuart
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 1:32:16 PM
Remote Name: 150.216.147.118

Comments

As an audiologist by trade, I sit for the most part as an observer and only sometimes participate in the field of
stuttering. The times when I enter the arena of stuttering I must acquiesce to those more learned and versed in
the field. Not being my chosen field, I do, however, have an advantage of not having any vested interested in
anyone’s dogma. 

On that note, let me begin by saying it is at times like this that I must admit both amusement and awe with the
field of stuttering when I read statements like those of Dr. Johnson’s. I am not about to knock humanism as a
corner stone of any therapeutic milieu. I do take offence, however, with anyone who can not see what
research has to offer therapy. Well-controlled clinical research studies can eventually lead to more effective
therapy techniques. Audiology has recognized "evidence-based" approaches that "de-emphasize intuition and
unsystematic clinical experience as the grounds for clinical decision-making and stresses the examination of
evidence from clinical research" (e.g., Bess, F.H. 1995. Evidence-based audiology. American Journal of
Audiology, 4(2), 5). 

It may be high time that those interested in successful therapy pay more attention to and/or participate in some
serious research activity. It is often the case that when successful therapy outcomes are observed clinicians
contend the therapy is responsible and when therapy is not successful the patient is to blame (e.g., "You are
not using your targets."). In other words, the efficacy of therapy is irrefutable. Siegel has echoed such
opinion by stating unequivocally that "we do not need science to establish that therapy works" (Siegel, G.
1987. Limits of science in communication disorders. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 52, p. 310).
Siegel, to my disbelief, discourages research evaluating the efficacy of therapy since "no experimental
outcome would convince a clinician that therapy does not work, and ... [it is not] useful to do research when
only one outcome would be accepted" (p. 310). I believe contrary to those who embrace a forgone
conclusion, without empiricism one will never know which therapy is successful. 

Sharing therapy techniques, Dr. Johnson, is not the answer. "Hiding behind research" is not the answer
either. Systematically evaluating fluency-enhancing techniques empirically and implementing proven
evidence-based approaches in therapy is. Anything short of that is an injustice to those who stutter. A good
first step might be to read the footnotes and understand the statistics in all of those empirical studies.

Re: Time, Objectivity, and Allegiance

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/20/99
Time: 2:38:57 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.200.47

Comments

Hi Andrew: People who know me cant figure me out either. I have read many studies over the years and have
always gotten some nugget or two, even tho too often the researchers have stated that there sample was small
and caution should be used when applying the outcome of the study. I really tried to stir the pot with my
comments so as to make the researchers take a stand as to the application of their research. In truth, I have
always found it difficult to separate out fact from the mystical relationship between clinician and client. How
does one do this?

Question for Gretchen Fifer

From: M. Lane
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 11:33:39 AM
Remote Name: 150.216.16.130

Comments

Ms. Fifer, 

I am a grad student in SLP at East carolina University. I have a report due on Symptom Modification therapy.
You said you often go back to the "modification" phase even now. What about this phase has particulary
helped you? Are you still an advocate of this method? 

Thanks, Meredith in NC

Re: Question for Gretchen Fifer

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 10:29:17 AM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Hi Meredith: I hope you don't mind my responding to your question, which is very perceptive on your part.
What do symptomatic therapy participants do long term? Practice, practice, practice. But this is the nature of
symptomatic therapy--it gives you something to do when you find yourself in trouble. This is the good thing
about it. You learn the tools for long term maintenance of your therapy. We hard-core stutterers need to learn
these tools, but you don't have to start at the beginning with cancellation, but you can if the moment is too
traumatic. Don't forget, symptomatice modification also involves the symptom of fear, avoidance, etc. The
best way to keep all of this alive long term is to think of these tools as friends (crutches?) that you can use. I
was going to say, most of us, but that might be true: I almost always go to the concept of the proper attitude
along with pull-outs. But after all, I have been doing this for some 45 years now. I also find that the simpliest
technique is to not be afraid, but that might not always be as simple as it sounds. Talk, talk, talk, but when in
trouble go back to the basics. I would recommend one of VR's early articles on Symptomatic Therapy for
Stuttering in the Travis: Handbook of Speech Pathology and Audiology. In my opinion this is an excellent
chapter. Cheers.

Re: Question for Gretchen Fifer

From: m lane
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 2:03:19 PM
Remote Name: 150.216.146.140

Comments

thank you, Mr. Johnson, for your comments. i will certainly try to review Travis' book that you
recommended. any additional information that you have to share about Van Riper's methods would be greatly
appreciated. meredith

To: Jerry Johnson & Joe Kalinowski

From: Gunars K. Neiders
Date: 10/15/99
Time: 5:52:12 PM
Remote Name: 12.13.226.15

Comments

Jerry Johnson and Joe 

When I hear a good discussion, I have a hard time keeping out of it. 

Jerry, you mentioned the magic term "attitude", "anxiety", or "fear" (the way I use them they often serve as
synonyms). I believe that Wendell Johnson was able to himself adjust these, because of his immersion in
General Semantics, but really did not provide an easy paradigm for teaching the person who stutters how to
achieve an optimum mind set. With the advent of semantically oriented cognitive psychology, we now have
tools to address the alteration of attitudes [almost] directly. (cf. see rational emotive behavior therapy and the
ABC paradigm of emotions.) 

Why am I inserting comments about Johnsonian approach in Riperian discussion? Because there is nothing
truly contradictory in both of their approaches. When used synergistically the advantages of semantic therapy,
where the validity and utility of self-talk is examined can be combined with the availability of using stuttering
modification techniques to get us through the rough moments of speech. 

Nor does the behaviorstic approach invalidate both the Johnsonian and Van Riperian approaches. For
example, W.G. Webster and M. Poulos' (1989) manual of Facilitating fluency combined Precision Fluency
Shaping with REBT, a semantic cognitive behavioral therapy that is very much based on General Semantics,
just like W. Johnson's thoughts. Another very good example is H. D. Schwartz (1999) who has a chapter on
"Counseling persons who stutter". Describing his stuttering therapy, Schwartz (1999) states, "Upon initial
inspection, our program may be viewed as a fluency shaping program …[however,] we place a great deal of
emphasis on the client's emotions and emotional reactions associated with stuttering." 

What am I trying to say? That we best get away from the either/or attitude that has so long been one of the
dominant elements in the field of stuttering therapy and turn more to both/and inclusive attitude. The same
goes for scientific versus non-scientific approaches. In the modern philosophy of science, we allow for
constructs that at the moment cannot be empirically validatable due to our lack of ingenuity or absence of
instruments of measuring some items on an objective scale. For example, at the moment we may not be able to
measure empirically the degree of situational or word anxiety, as well as guilt and shame, but who is to say
that in the future some modern day Rutherford, or Newton will not devise a way of how to indirectly measure
emotions on an objective scale. Until that time, I think, we do not throw out the common observation that
communicative stress plays a role in stuttering severity, but handle it with less than perfect scientific paradigm.

I agree with Joe Kalinowski's "Time, Objectivity and Allegiance" that sometimes only the dying out of the
erstwhile "True Believers" (see "The True Believer: Thoughts on Nature of Mass Movements" by Eric Hoffer
and "The Nature of Scientific Revolutions" by Kuhn) brings rational sense or the next evolutionary or
revolutionary step in the field. Yet is seems silly to have to wait that long. 

In summary, I know I have wanderer all over the map, and maybe even navigated over the end of the world,
but I truly do not think that much of what has been said in the field of stuttering therapy has been wrong
except when the followers of one school of thought have stated that the followers of another school are
wrong. I agree with Woody Starkweather that there are many roads out of the woods of self-downing,
struggling stuttering. (For some of us being in a clearing is good enough, when we can without any
significant anxiety, self-downing, guilt or shame and without any significant struggle pursue the rewards of
being alive, a moveable feast.) But just like in the field of physics we can strive for a "unified field theory"
where all the known cases of spontaneous recovery (which indeed may hold the key to future directions in
stuttering therapy) as well as the successes of therapy can be explained. Thus, I believe the outcome measures
best include everything from counting of disfluencies and measuring the severity of secondary symptoms such
as tics (the impairment) to the disability and finally the handicap. (See definition of impairment, disability and
handicap in Yaruss ISAD 1998 paper). 

Gunars 

Dr. Van and his therapy

From: Walt Manning
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 3:40:56 PM
Remote Name: 141.225.97.53

Comments

I have shown the "Van Riper Tapes" of Van conducting therapy with Jeff in my classes for many years. Since
the series was taped in the 1970s a number of things have changed including styles of dress and hair. Other
changes include aspects of "political correctness" (gender comments). My point is this: I think the tapes
provide a wonderful example of therapeutic change, as well as Dr. Van's skill as a clinician including his
unafraid attitude about stuttering, his sense of humor, and his ability to go right to the core of Jeff's behavior
and attitude about stuttering. My current student, however, find many of his techniques and mannerisms gruff
and somewhat offensive. I'm wondering if any of you know of examples (beyond some of those already
discussed in your papers) where Dr. Van went a little "too far" and, as a result, pushed clients away from or
out of therapy. 

After many viewings, I continue to enjoy and learn from these tapes. But for some of my(graduate)students
(generally female)the experience of watching the tapes seems to be somewhat offensive for them. Some of my
students from the south (the majority) suspect that his behavior can be explained because he was a "Yankee".
Now that should solicit some comments from Ya'll. 

Re: Dr. Van and his therapy

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 1:20:23 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.196.26

Comments

Hi Ya'll: Yup, no doubt about it Dr. Van was quick to catch on to the foibles and strengths of the client.
Sometimes too quick I must admit, but why not cut to the chase? As a rule Van would only take on a client for
one semester and he set the ground rules too. Do what I think you must do and do it now or get the hell out of
the program. Now that is pretty crass dont you think? But on the other hand we all know that if you have been
beaten-up all your life because you stutter you might have some pretty thin skin. I think Dr. Van's philosophy
was the tougher the better. How else would the stutterer be willing to do all the outside assignments..to be
asked to do the one thing that was felt to be impossible: stutter, stutter, stutter openly, without shame, guilt,
hostility toward oneself and ones listener. Althou;gh I do remember something being said about getting even
with the listener too. One has to go beyond the outward appearance of the man and look to the core of his
persona. Dr. Van was a trickster, he had a twinkle in his eye and his motive, he knew how to touch the
persons inner core. He had been there too, but never attempted to set himself up as an example for all the
follow. You had to find yourself and the road would be pretty rocky. Tough, yes, compassionate, yes, but he
also wanted to have each person achieve his ultimate potential and gave him/her the tools to continue to do so
long after therapy was over. He also wanted his students to believe in themselves too and not to melt when
confronted with a person who might have many many needs. Stand tall, look em in the eye, and when the
command to fire comes through you must go for it. We Yankees are tough, but we are lovable too. 

Dr. Manning's students are lucky to have him as their mentor

Re: Dr. Van and his therapy

From: agnello
Date: 10/7/99
Time: 6:00:41 AM
Remote Name: 216.68.31.16

Comments

jerry... Great response concerning Van's character/therapy "style" u can also get this info about the man
throufh his Northwoods Readers. 

Re: Dr. Van and his therapy

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 3:40:13 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.193.54

Comments

OOPS! I guess I didn't answer the question about the number of people who dropped out. We started with 10
people, as I remember it, and I am guessing that about 4 dropped out. I am sorry that I cannot supply the
particulars about why they left the program. We must remember that hard-core stutterers bring a surplus of
negative conditioned responses to the table and sometimes it is very difficult to overcome some of them,
maybe the most important ones to the client. Self-confrontation even with expert guidance is a tough, tough
thing to do. Maybe Van should have had a branching program to take care of those who needed more time or a
different direction or a different, more supportive type of therapy. I am glad I didn't drop out because I
married my bride of some 44+ years from that program. I do remember Dr. Van telling the student clinicians
that if they ever dated one of us they would be bounced out of his program. Ha, ha, wink, wink--we NEVER
did that!!!!!

Re: Dr. Van and his therapy

From: Steve Hood
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 8:47:57 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.192.37

Comments

Commenting on what Walt Manning wrote --- 

I have also shown the VR Tapes from the 70's. Each year, I seem to get something new out of them. Some
students appear boared, and some react negatively to Van's manner. i try to forwarn them and put things into
perspective. 

None the less, the tapes show a lot about therapy. 

For some who may now know this, there is now a 20 year follow-up. About 6 months after Van's death,
Western Michigan held a "wake" in his honor. Jeff, the PWS from the tapes was there, and he was
interviewed by Barry Guitar. Jeff and barry reflect back on Van as a person, and Van as the clinician in the
video tapes. Insights from both Jeff and from barry are insightful, and help give some closure to tapes of
20+s earlier. 

Thought this might be of interest. 

Steve Hood

Re: Dr. Van and his therapy

From: Woody Starkweather
Date: 10/7/99
Time: 4:03:42 PM
Remote Name: 155.247.229.217

Comments

Hi Walt: 

It was a different era, wasn't it? When I edited Van's autobiography, there were many places where those
differences came up. I left most of them in, figuring people would understand how much had changed since
the 30's. 

Reading the accounts of his former clients, I was struck by Van's ability to combine compassion and
confrontation, support and challenge. I guess, since some people got offended and dropped out, that he may
have overdone the confrontation on occasions. My tendency is the opposite, and that's why Van was such a
great mentor for me. I needed to learn to take the chance and challenge my clients so that they could find out
how much challenge they could meet. That way, we can create independence, not dependence. 

Woody 

Re: Dr. Van and his therapy

From: Agnello
Date: 10/9/99
Time: 1:57:33 AM
Remote Name: 216.68.66.71

Comments

Manning....your right Van was totally unafraid of stuttering and any personality traits/or facade as a deceptive
means of covertly dealing with the stuttering problem. He was extremely cleaver in revealing what he so in a
very diplomatic way....and certainly not in an abbussive way. I know of no one that quit the program in my
for years with Van. I* also remember Van saying he carefully picked thos he allowed to come into his therapy
group were only those that did not have some "big scars". Those that quit in mid-stream may have done so
because the task ahead without the facade was a too frightening task (future).

Toughness, scars, and sensitivity

From: Gunars K. Neiders
Date: 10/15/99
Time: 6:20:10 PM
Remote Name: 12.13.226.11

Comments

y'all, 

As somebody who has had at least 17 therapies under my belt, and having dropped out only when they no
longer seemed to help me, I wonder if this could not have been a valid case also in many of the instances with
Van Riper. I maintain that until I combined work via semantic therapy on my emotions directly, the problem
of creating my own communicative stress precluded me from doing any useful Van Riperian work. As for
toughness, I remember a conversation that Gardner Gatelely and I had at the San Diego SID4. He said that
one of his best successes was a teen age kid who came in with his mom, smirked all the way through the
interview and otherwise had an arrogant air about him. When Gardner asked him whose I idea it was to come
to the therapy, the kid just smiled and pointed at his mom. After a few more questions Gardner said he laid it
on the line. "The choice is yours, son. You can go through the life with a stutter that bothers both you and
other people who interact with you. Or you can work hard. And believe me, it will be hard and difficult work
and adjust to life. (He said that he uses also rational emotive behavior therapy with his clients, and so works
both on their attitudes and on their speech.) Gardner said he finished by telling the teenager, that until he is
committed to work harder at this than at anything else he has worked on in his life, he might as well not come
back. Then he sent him home with something like this, "Until you decide to do something about your speech,
don't harken my doorstep." 

Next week at the appointed time the teenager was not there. Just about the time when he thought that he was
about to give up on him, the kid turned up all out of breath. He had run more than five miles, to get to
Gardner's office, because something turned up and his aunt was not able to take him. 

Ultimately, I think that we have to without blame give the client the option to work and if necessarily provide
him with the proper self-talk, such as "I know this is the hardest thing that I have ever done, but I am tough
and I can do it, because some of the people who my therapist has introduced me to also were able to do it. But
above all we must convince the client that a) stuttering does not make him a fool or a louse, and b) that
stuttering is not awful, that the client has enough resources to stand it and work it, even with tears in his eyes. 

Gunars

Therapy "assignments"

From: Darci Samuelson
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 4:52:28 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

One of you mentioned that you remember well the assignments you were asked to do in your therapy with
Van Riper (the thin sheets of copy paper with about 4-6 different things to do!). Can anyone share what some
of those assignments were? Were they the same for everyone, or were they geared to each individual? 

Thanks, 

Darci

Re: Therapy "assignments"

From: Gretchen Fifer
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 4:53:24 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

I believe they were all the same as why else would they be several copies made at one time? But, I am not
sure. I remember well the one I hated to do (and did not do) - Call your dorm and ask to talk to the girl who
stutters. Many of them involved calling assignments. I have looked for those sheets but I don't think I have
any of them left. Those were the days before I loved the field of Speech Therapy. 

Gretchen

Re: Therapy "assignments"

From: jerry johnson
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 7:45:33 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.197.199

Comments

Hi Darci: You ask an excellent question. You would think that Van Riper would individualize his therapy to
meet the needs of the individual. Well, as Gretchen points out, this couldn't be further from the truth as far as
group therapy was concerned. You made me reach into the dim dark past, and a search through files upon
files of "good stuff" that can't be chucked and lo and behold what did I come up with? Yup, you guessed it.
Out of the paths of yesteryear a"Stuttering Therapy, Fall, 1952 passed before my eyes. The Aims were: "1.
To decrease the stutterer's fears of words and situations; 2. To prevent stuttering blocks from being
reinforced; 3. To uncondition and break up and weaken the old forms of stuttering; 4. To teach an effortless
form of stuttering which society will not penalize; 5. To teach the stutterer to be his own clinician; 6. To make
the stutterer a well-adjusted individual." Now, hows that? Is this from the past or the present? I have pages
upon pages of stuff that is too lengthy to present here but upon your digging into the published information by
and about Dr. Van you can get an idea about how demanding his approach was. To much to handle from the
depths of despair? You can be the judge of that. Is this therapy Van Riper therapy for the weak at heart? I
don't think so. If you don't stutter--count your blessings!

Re: Therapy "assignments"

From: agnello
Date: 10/7/99
Time: 6:36:44 AM
Remote Name: 216.68.66.6

Comments

What ever comments or "assignments u got from Van they were often believed to be tailored for u. he was a
wild crazy guy. It's no random occurence that the theme song from the movie "Dancing with Wolf" was in a
video by his grandson(amore)... Van and I built a roaring fire in his back yard and danced around it while
tearing off our clothes; ran through the corn field naked laughing at our tremendeous sense of discovred
freedom. 

Therapy, life & being weak at heart

From: Gunars K. Neiders
Date: 10/15/99
Time: 6:37:52 PM
Remote Name: 12.13.226.16

Comments

Jerry, 

Somewhere else you talked about "Tough love". In order to break any kind of addiction, and stuttering can be
thought of having some elements of addiction in it such as being addicted to the belief that "It is too hard to do
voluntary stuttering." "I can't stand being rejected." "There should be an easy therapy." "The therapist should
do all my work for me." etc., it is necessary to face the discomfort now in order to have future gain. Stoically
one better face the discomfort and not make an impassable mountain range out of a fair size of a mountain. I
have yet to see where the easy way out is anything but the easy way out of the true experience of life. All the
mish mash that Martin Schwartz has written, does not undermine his ingenious naming of some of the
exercises that he asks his cllients to do as the "TOUGHENING EXERCISES". We must toughen the clients,
both philosophically and emotionally. I have a running battle with a teacher of stuttering therapy who thinks
that his budding SLP's should not be exposed to go out and do voluntary or pseudo stuttering as a part of
clinical training. He thinks some of them might quit the field if he would request them to do it. I think that
would be a good deal for the profession. Because, how can you expect a client to form a tough mental attitude
toward the inconveniences of doing speech exercises, if the therapist herself feels that this is too much for her
to bear? 

Gunars

changes between then and now

From: Judy Kuster
Date: 10/10/99
Time: 2:12:40 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Can you describe the difference in your speech/communication style from when finally were able to get your
stuttering out in the open, to how you see it now?

Re: changes between then and now

From: Gretchen Fifer
Date: 10/10/99
Time: 2:14:55 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Now we are going back such a long time. When I first became free of the hiding and denial I became more
outgoing -- I could order lamb in a restaurant (and they didn't have any the first time I did it), Over the years I
have changed a lot more because of Speech Therapy, and probably because of my education, and the times in
which we live. I still have to monitor my speech, I still have bad and good talking days, and I still read
everything I can find on the subject. I still catch myself avoiding situations. I still use different approaches.
That is one of the most important things I learned from Dr. Van -- there is more than one way to make a
difference.

Re: changes between then and now

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/13/99
Time: 5:40:28 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.213.73

Comments

Good Question! Then was almost total inability to talk in a situation except if I got lucky. Started with VR at
age 22. Thats when things got better. Was a successful university teacher for over 29 years and could really
talk with minor stutterings. Monitor, monitor, monitor: what a pain in the butt, but it kept therapy alive all
these years. Have given many presentations that I think were just fine. The demon is still with me and will be
till? I tell a story that some stutterers think is funny and others might not, but it goes like this. I die and of
course go to stuttering heaven. St. Pete is at the gate and welcomes me and says I have some good news and
some bad news. What do you want to hear first. I say, well, how about the good news first. Pete says,
Welcome, you don't stutter any more. The bad news is you're dead. End of story. We hard-core stutterers
surely have a cross to bear, but what the hell, there are much worse things to bear. In fact, I think that my
stuttering made me more sensitive to "stuff and junk" around me and has made me a better clinician to other
people who stutter, while not holding myself up as their "way to be."

Re: changes between then and now

From: agnello
Date: 10/16/99
Time: 5:45:20 PM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.110

Comments

Before I started therapy with Van, I was in constant and terrible conflict over speaking. I literally avoided
speech. With Van, I was able to eliminate about 90 percent of the severe blocking and no longer avoided
speech situations. I had plenty of stuttering after leaving Van, but was able to express large 'chunks' of
thought. The more I talked, the better I spoke. After about three years--and many relapses--I was almost
fluent. The relapses still occur, but they are few and far between. They are readily managed by applying the
controls I learned with Van and continue to pass on to my own students and clients.

For a college education or for therapy initially?

From: Judy
Date: 10/16/99
Time: 2:57:42 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

How did you end up at Michigan? Did you go there to study to be an SLP or did you go there initially because
you wanted speech therapy? 

Re: For a college education or for therapy initially?

From: Gretchen Fifer
Date: 10/16/99
Time: 2:58:25 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

When I was a Junior in High School our Journalism teacher took 5 of us girls to Lower Michigan (I was from
the Upper Peninsula and that was probably the 3rd or 4th time I had ever been below the Straits of Mackinac)
and we visited 5 colleges. I liked the looks of Western so I went there to be a Home Ec Teacher. I guess it
was fate as I knew nothing about Speech Therapy at the college level. (we never had a Speech Therapist in our
schools until I was in the 7th grade) When the chemistry teacher suggested I go to Speech Therapy I did not
know I was going to be with the best there was.

Van Riper Videos, with Jeff

From: Steve Hood
Date: 10/16/99
Time: 10:12:03 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.193.182

Comments

I really appreciate you all taking the time to reflect upon your therapy with Doc Van. I was never his client,
and did not attend Western Michigan. But I learned of him, and later worked with him closely, through some
of my stuff with the Stuttering Foundation of America. 

I show portions of the tapes of Van, working with Jeff Adamsak, back in the 1970's. Of course the tapes are
age-dated....as one would expect. But the goals, procedures, etc, strike me as highly appropriate 

My questions: 

1. Have you seen the Van Riper tapes with Jeff? 

2. What are your reactions to them?? 

3. Have you seen the 20-year follow up, which as a interviw of Jeff by Barry Guitar. It was taped at the
"memorial wake" for Van the spring term ater his death. Barry interviewed Jeff about this video taped therapy.
What are your thoughts 

Hope you can share your insights. 

thanks, 

Steve Hood 

Re: Van Riper Videos, with Jeff

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/20/99
Time: 2:30:40 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.200.47

Comments

Steve: Yes I have seen and used the VR tapes in the past, but I found them too dated so I put them in the
media room for those students who were interested in them to view them on their own time. Since I always
did demonstration therapy with clients of all ages the students did get to observe therapy on a first hand basis.
I also video taped entire therapy with various clients that I was involved in too. These ran much longer than
the VR tapes and were unedited. I also hosted a self-help group AIMS: American Institute for the Management
of Stuttering for graduate student participation. I think I was at Western when these tapes were being made,
but I cant recall for sure. I do remember VR commenting upon doing them and how nervous he was about
doing it. I have not seen the follow-up so I cant comment upon it.

Jerry Johnson

From: Johanna Wallace
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 2:55:02 PM
Remote Name: 4.16.144.156

Comments

I am a first year graduate student, but this is my first fluency class. I appreciate your insights of Dr. Van
Riper's therapy. It is very helpful to hear how it has affected your life.

Re: Jerry Johnson

From: jerry
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 8:14:59 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.207.82

Comments

Hi Johanna: Thanks for reading through all this stuff. I found my learning to be greatly enhanced by listening
to the people who have gone through the gates of hell. This includes everyone, clients, parents, kids,
whomever. Good luck to you. Be a good listener.

Jerry Johnson

From: Gay Camagong
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 3:08:47 PM
Remote Name: 4.16.144.156

Comments

I enjoyed reading your comments about Dr. Van Riper's therapy. I am a first year graduate student and in my
class we've begun viewing Dr. Van Riper's therapy approaches with Jeff. I enjoyed the story about the
hundred dollar bill. It's good to know that there is a homepage for individuals who stutter, where they can
share or voice their thoughts and opinions. 

Re: Jerry Johnson

From: Jerry
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 8:17:22 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.207.82

Comments

Hi Gay: Glad you read through all the information on Dr. Van. He was quite a guy. Take a peek at my
comments to Johanna because the same apply to you. People who stutter need great clinicans and you young
people can be the wave of the future.

Jerry Johnson: Van Riper Experiments

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 9:12:18 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.213.69

Comments

I dont know why, but we have not mentioned the chapter in Eisenson "Stuttering, A Symposium by Van
Riper "Experiments in Stuttering Therapy." He takes the reader through 1936-1957. Those of you who asked
about specific assignments given to the PWS will find many examples. Check it out, it is a learning experience
and even fun to read. Gives one the sense of complexity of the disorder. Good reading.

Question for Joseph G. Agnello

From: Candace Nicole Casiday
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 9:47:53 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.193.48

Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your work on stuttering and was very fascinated that you were a former client of
Charles Van Riper. I have just one question to ask you about your work with Van Riper. What is the most
influential therapeutic technique gained from your experiences with Charles Van Riper and how have you
applied this knowledge in your therapy sessions?

Re: Question for Joseph G. Agnello

From: agnello
Date: 10/19/99
Time: 9:31:01 PM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.92

Comments

Candace: This is my 3rd attempt to answer your question....I'll have to answer it again later...sorry My server
keeps shutting down...and consequently loses the mesage Best JGA

Question for Joseph G. Agnello

From: Candace Nicole Casiday
Date: 10/17/99
Time: 9:48:40 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.193.48

Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your work on stuttering and was very fascinated that you were a former client of
Charles Van Riper. I have just one question to ask you about your work with Van Riper. What is the most
influential therapeutic technique gained from your experiences with Charles Van Riper and how have you
applied this knowledge in your therapy sessions?

Re: Question for Joseph G. Agnello

From: Agnello
Date: 10/19/99
Time: 9:16:06 PM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.92

Comments

Candice: Did u get my answer? I wrote a lengthy reply...but before I sent it my server shut down and I believe
I lost it, Maybe Judy can find it in the knot of the threded web. I"ll answere it again too sleepy..best joe

Re: Question for Joseph G. Agnello

From: agnello
Date: 10/22/99
Time: 5:01:43 PM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.96

Comments

Candace....Those techmiques that reduced the avoidance..and the change in attitude that essentially went
along with this lack of fear/or sense of rejection if I stuttered. Like the NIAKI ad just: "Do it" too hell with the
consequences.Just keep talking and experimenting with the "controls". The controls turn out to be just good
efficient speech skill. But I believe this was all possible because of Van total confidence in me. Van was a free
spirit and had the tremendeous ability to look beyond the stutter and know the ;potential of his "clients"...but I
never felt like a case/or client/or stutterer when I was with Vanand after I left Van this attitude remained with
me to this day....This is what I try to pass on and I believe its been the key to my "cure' and the success I've
had as a therapist... You too can do it...Its a wonderful sense of freedom that Van helped me to obtain...but it
took time and at some point in the three years post Van it became less and less painful and consequently a
pleasure to talk,,,,I hope I gave you a clear answer to your question. Just go ahead and test out some of these
controls/attitutes/felling/try to become objective about the way u talk,think/fell....Best JGA 

Client of Charles VanRiper

From: Kimberly Smith
Date: 10/18/99
Time: 7:44:26 PM
Remote Name: 152.163.204.30

Comments

Do you feel exposing suttering clients to outside clinical assignments helps to reduce dysfluencies in their
speech? If so why.

Re: Client of Charles VanRiper

From: agnello
Date: 10/19/99
Time: 11:05:24 AM
Remote Name: 205.183.16.92

Comments

Just simply exposing stutter behavior outside of the "clinical" environment would be of little use ...unless the
pws is well informed on what to expect and what to do and in the event of "success" or "failure" be able to
discuss the various alternatiive proactive strategies as opposed to the reactive (failure) behavior so often
expressed . It also depends on the pws. Some pws have plenty of talking time outside and some pws may
have zero time. Those that have "zero time" it could be a very frigenting experience and if not properly
coached could be set up for "big time failure' JGA

avoidance

From: tom
Date: 10/21/99
Time: 3:41:48 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

what kinds of situations were you good at avoiding?

Re: avoidance

From: Gretchen Fifer
Date: 10/21/99
Time: 3:42:30 PM
Remote Name: 134.29.30.79

Comments

Stutterers are world's best avoiders. In High School I never did my Latin assignments (and I nearly flunked
Latin) because every day the teacher went up and down each aisle and we had to translate out loud. I could not
do it so I never studied so when I said I hadn't done the assignment, I would not be lying. I could avoid
words I saw coming in a sentence, I avoided receiving lines, I avoided any and all situations where you had to
introduce yourself. I could go on and on. 

Gretchen