1. ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE! Stuttering is only one part of the whole. Barb, you are a great gal! Get Into a positive mind-set and stay there. You have much fluency, a good voice, good articulation, and a good vocabulary. You are intelligent and you know your business. You are attractive. You are motivated to excel. You have a great sense of humor. You have many friends. ETC., ETC.. ETC.

2. TOLERATE STUTTERING: You are a person who stutters and you will stutter in varying degrees forever. So what! You have good stuttering that you don't have to pay any attention to. Give yourself permission to stutter openly, freely, easily, with as little tension as possible and without embarrassment, shame, or guilt.

3. TAKE RISKS: Do not hold back from talking because you think you might stutter. The more risks you take with speech the greater the potential for stuttering. But this stuttering moves you forward. Approach talking vigorously. You want to talk. Stuttering also gives you practice time to learn how to modify the tense-tight stuttering. For example, each time you avoid the telephone you make the next telephone call more difficult.

4. STUTTERING TRIGGER POSTURES: Identify where the speech tension is in your body. Possible sites are your vocal cords, your tongue, your jaw, your neck, and/or your upper body. Hold this tension and identify it. Do this on those words which are a part of your old stuttering habit. Try to remove any sense of anxiety about that stuttered word or situation or person from your analysis.

5. CHANGE THE STUTTERING TRIGGER POSTURES: Practice changing from tension to easy, light, gentle. smooth, gradual onsets. You can do this prior to saying a word-prepare in advance if you anticipate stuttering on a word and put your focus on the easy, light, gentle, smooth, gradual onset of the word. You can do this during the stuttered word by pulling out of the tension into the easy, light, gentle, smooth, gradual completion of the word. Or you can do it after the stuttered word by repeating the stuttered word with easy, light, gentle, smooth, gradual movements. The object is not to just say the word fluently, but to say it with the focus on the change postures. Practice this on as many stuttered words as you can. Try to keep calm and say these words in a purposeful manner. Especially do this on first words.

6. DO NOT MONITOR ALL THE TIME: You have much fluency and you should use it freely and spontaneously.

7. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Lucky change from tense trigger postures to easy, light, gentle, smooth, and gradual postural change will not last. You can make this happen by practicing this change in easy speaking situations and then harder ones. You can't rely on luck to see you through the tense moments. Stuttering is your signal to get your focus back to easy, light, gentle, smooth, and gradual movements. Any time you have a tense and tight stuttered moment is the time to tune in.

8. HIGH STIMULUS SPEECH: Enjoy talking by feeling how you talk. Get pleasure and gratification from talking easily, lightly, gently, smoothly, and gradually moving through the entire sentence as one big long word. Visualize yourself doing this. Get focus on your ability to talk. Get stimulus value from high stimulus speech.

9. RELAXATION: Put yourself in a relaxing posture in a safe and secure environment. Focus upon a spot or close your eyes, let your breathing just happen, and take yourself to your gently rocking boat at a nice lake. Feel your body going soft and relaxed. Visualize what you want to see, feel, and hear. Think good thoughts, positive thoughts, and block out all negative thoughts. Feel refreshed, light, and airy as you open your eyes. Stay for an additional moment. Try to hold on to these feelings as you go about your day.

10. MAKE THESE RULES YOUR LIFE STYLE: You can change. You can feel better about yourself as a person and as a speaker. Remember, what is past is past-that last second that just ticked off the clock is gone forever. Look forward. Keep moving in a direction that is satisfying to you. You are the most important person in the world. Take time to love yourself for what you mean to yourself.

added November 3, 1998