Thanks To My Stutter, I'm Never Lost For Words

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Re: question about therapy

From: Alan Badmington (to Megan)
Date: 22 Oct 2008
Time: 04:30:04 -0500
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Hi Megan, I believe that voluntary stuttering can be a very useful tool, although (I accept that) it is a difficult concept to convey to clients. I understand that the way in which it is taught by the McGuire Program may differ from the generally accepted method. I learned to use voluntary stuttering (or deliberate dysfluency, as the Programme likes to label it) by implementing the full costal breathing technique. As a result, I have never encountered a ‘genuine’ stutter when using voluntary stuttering. (Incidentally, having dealt with my stuttering issues, I no longer have cause to use it today). I believe it is important that we use voluntary stuttering with dignity – maintaining good eye contact with the listener. If we look away, then the listener is likely to feel uncomfortable. Eye contact is so important in communication – I have heard it described as the ‘bridge between the speaker and the listener, over which emotions pass’. Without eye contact, communication lacks connection - it is deficient of an essential element. If your client is reluctant to practise voluntary stuttering, maybe you might consider demonstrating it yourself (in his presence) when speaking to members of the public. He might welcome the fact that you are prepared to challenge yourself in that manner, although (I appreciate that) you are unlikely to experience the usual anticipatory anxiety felt by a PWS. You will, undoubtedly, feel apprehensive about expanding your comfort zone in that manner, but I respectfully submit that your discomfort/fear will not relate to past negative speaking experiences. One final thought, you might wish to suggest to your client that he practises voluntary stuttering with family members and friends, thus allowing him to gain confidence and greater proficiency in a safer/supportive environment. Thank you, for taking the time to read my paper and contribute to the online discussion. I wish you every success with your studies. Kindest regards Alan (PS Did you know that the name ‘Megan’ originates from my home country of Wales?)

Last changed: 10/22/08