Gerald F. Johnson, Ph.D.
474 Lake Bluff Lane
Grafton(Milwaukee), WI 53024

1. Be prepared to not be scared of stuttering anymore. Fear of stuttering is unacceptable behavior. Give yourself permission to do what you are going to do anyway--Stutter.

2. Stutter openly, freely, without shame or embarrassment. Do not hold back.

3. Talk when you want to talk. Move forward with your speech. Want to talk whether you stutter or not. Approach talking vigorously and do not avoid talking. If you have something to say it. Demand your talking turn and time. People will listen to you if you do.

4. Know that some people are not good listeners. They like to talk and display their perpendicular "I". Make liking to talk your passion. If people listen, fine. If not, what the hell, at least you got in your licks.

5. You are an important person. Just as important as all the other self-serving people you come across. You have spent a lifetime listening-being a good person-now its time for you to break loose. Sit and stand tall. Lean forward. Move forward. Be politely assertive.

6. Keep good eye contact. When you talk with your eyes. Look at the other person when you talk, when you stutter, when you have something to say. When you do not have eye contact you are miles away from that situation. When you have eye contact you are occupying your communicative space and no one can invade it. That space is yours to enjoy.

7. Be spontaneous. You don't have to think of the right words to say-you know the words to speak. Let it rip. The more you think about what to say the less spontaneous you will be. Are you afraid of not saying the "right" things? Do you pick and choose your words? Are you flat footed with your speech and the words you want to say? Give yourself permission to be spontaneous. Go For It!

8. Practice your talking rules that you learned in therapy. Practice makes perfect. No opera star, athlete, rap talker, baker, tool and die maker, or any other working person maintains or improves his/her skill without practicing on a daily basis. Make your therapy tools your constant companion. Touch, feel , sense, integrate these skills into your daily travels. These skills are your road map to success in improving your ability to talk at a level that brings self-gratification.

9. Be willing to tolerate the imperfection of stuttering. Tolerance of imperfection will free you from the stress of avoiding the stuttering imperfection. In using your energies in the development of tolerance you will have a reserve power to overcome your inhibitions towards your stuttering. Be yourself. As Popeye says: "I am what I am. I'm Popeye the sailor man."

10. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Look at yourself with a positive self-image. That image you see in the mirror is unique. Treasure it. Love yourself and develop an ego strength that is powerful enough to allow you to love all those that need to be loved. However, you don't have to love everybody, but then don't expect that everyone will love you in return. You are a good person and you have enough goodness to go around. Don't be afraid to share some of yourself, but be sure to save something of yourself for yourself.

added with permission