The Third International Convention
of People Who Stutter
San Francisco, August 13-16-1992



Suggestions for managing your stuttering:

1. Stuttering will be with you forever and will not go away. There will always be a stuttering residual, so learn how to deal with those moments of stuttering.

2. There is "GOOD" stuttering and there is "BAD" stuttering. Learn how to identify both. GOOD stuttering involves low tension, is miniature in magnitude, is unpredictable (the stuttered word "Just happens to you" ) and has low awareness and high tolerance. There is little monitoring.

BAD stuttering involves high tension, struggle, high awareness, and low tolerance with all the old negative feelings about "that moment."

If you do not do anything about the BAD stuttering it will always stay that way. You should have zero tolerance for your BAD stuttering and high tolerance for your GOOD stuttering.

3. Tolerate your GOOD stuttering. You might not be very good at this at first because most therapies have required you to monitor all your stuttering and not to ignore it. Use your monitoring energy to work on changing your BAD stuttering. This focus on the BAD stuttering is where your energy should be.

Other people might not be too good at tolerating stuttering either but you can't change the world (all those listeners), so just worry about yourself. Peoples reactions never get any better than how YOU perceive their reactions to be. Self-tolerance is of paramount importance.

4. Use positive self-talk. Fight against any negative self-talk. You are an important person - tell yourself that often. To make things work for the better takes dedication, effort, time, and commitment on your part. Be free and open, both with your stuttering and with yourself. Keep a positive attitude and do not start to stutter BEFORE you begin to speak. Keep moving forward.

5. Take risks. Avoidance can be a continuing problem. Avoidances are signs of listener intimidation, fear, holding back, lack of ego power, etc. The more risks you take the better. Tap into your potential.

6. Do not monitor your speech all the time. This is too hard to do and only becomes a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. It is better to have GOOD stuttering and less monitoring than monitored speech and no stuttering. You will not be able to keep up this monster monitoring for long. Strive to become an unmonitored stutterer.

7. You don't have to stutter in the same way for the rest of your life. Vary it and change it to a more acceptable form of stuttering for you - turn your BAD stuttering into GOOD stuttering.

8. You don't have to learn to speak fluently - there is nothing wrong with your speech motor. But you do need to practice speaking fluently and to apply the same amount of energy to it that you use to stutter. People who stutter often go from stuttered word to stuttered word and they use a lot of energy in the process. Speaking fluently starts with first words and ends with the last word. Make yourself go THROUGH a sentence rather than stopping and starting with each stuttered word - use enough energy to MAKE yourself talk more fluently. Remember to tolerate the GOOD stuttering when you do this.

9. Pick apart your BAD stuttering and find out what you are doing and how you can change/modify it. Touch and feel your BAD stuttering and then change it.

10. Options for working through your BAD stuttering:

added with permission, October 29, 1998