About the presenter: Gunars K. Neiders, Ph.D.E.E; M.A. Psychology write, "I was born on January 24, 1937 in Latvia. I lived through WWII. I was there during the battles between Russian, German and American armies. Then I spent 10 years in refugee camps. I was further upset by an immigration interview, where my inability to utter a sound in 5 minutes almost cost my family (including two sisters) the opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. I earned a doctor's degree in engineering, and after working 36 years at The Boeing Company aerospace missiles I was earning more than $100,000 a year. Instead of earning more money or retiring, I am back in school studying to become a psychology doctor. I am doing this only to help others who stutter. Although some of the sixteen stuttering therapies I had helped me, a special kind of psychology (REBT) helped me the most in reducing my stuttering, finding the right wife, and living happily.

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2004.

Like Yourself, Believe in Yourself, and Work Hard to Reach Your Goals

By Gunars Neiders
from Washington, USA

What I really wanted to know when I was young was the answer to one very big question - "How can I cure my stuttering?"

I wish a grown-up had told me that although some people can be "cured," that even if we can't be "cured," the rest of us can learn to manage our stuttering pretty well. Managing means

Our stuttering can often be greatly reduced so that ordinary people do not notice our occasional "tripping over our words" (like easy re-repetitions and small proolongaations).

The way I have learned to do this personally is to remember three key points:

Like Yourself

The hardest thing to do is to like ourselves when we stutter. Throughout the ages people have struggled with the problem of how to learn to like themselves when they had something that they really hated about themselves (such as stuttering). One way to do that is to separate the "me", (the person), from the "it" (the stuttering). Hating "it", the stuttering, does not mean I have to dislike or hate "me" the person. Christians say the same thing using different words: Hate the sin (stuttering) but love the sinner (the person who stutters). Philosophers say "no matter what faults I have I am a worthwhile person just because I am alive. Stuttering cannot make me worthless." Some counselors (those who use something called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy - REBT) teach us how to accept ourselves whether we stutter or not. It is not wrong to dislike stuttering. Strongly disliking stuttering is a healthy feeling, because it helps us to work on changing what we tell ourselves (our self-talk) and our bad feelings about our stuttering. Read these sentences over and over again until you really, truly like yourself whether you stutter or not!!!

Believe in Yourself

Believe that you can do something about your stuttering. I have full confidence in you that you can make good choices about your own therapy. Find a speech therapist who is willing to work on your self-talk, your bad feelings about stuttering, and teach you how to stutter in an easier way. Print out this paper and ask your speech therapist to help you using these methods. It might also be helpful to have the speech therapist contact your school counselor and come up with a joint treatment plan. Read books, pamphlets or internet articles and find out information about Stuttering Modification and REBT.

Work Hard to Reach Your Goals

Sometimes you will take two steps forward and one step back. Don't be discouraged. If one method doesn't work for you, try something else. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is just plain silly. Never, never give up! Enjoy life even while you are working on accepting and liking yourself, learning good self-talk, learning to stop self-defeating feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt, and shame! You can find something to enjoy in every day, whether you stutter or not!

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the author before October 22, 2004.

September 25, 2004

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