What happens when you stutter?
During a repetition, block, or prolongation, you may feel embarrassed, tense up and break eye contact. It's common for anyone who stutters.
However, these reactions to your stuttering prompt the listener to react in a similar fashion. Your listeners will react to your stuttering the same way you do.
If you are anxious, tense, and apprehensive, they will also feel anxious, tense, and apprehensive. They will mirror your emotions and body language. That is one of the primary reasons you may find it difficult to hold a conversation or communicate successfully.
Whether you are receiving speech therapy from a qualified speech-language pathologist or using a cutting-edge speech therapy app such as Stamurai to learn how to stutter less, it's important that you focus on achieving some basic goals.
Here in this post, we will shed light on the four basic goals that you should try to achieve.
Goal #1: To Rediscover Confidence
As someone who stutters, one of your basic goals should be to find the confidence to speak without any sign of tension, anxiety, and hurriedness. That will eventually make it possible for you to converse better in social and professional settings.
Stuttering with less tension may not always mean speaking more fluently. The goal is not to avoid stuttering entirely, but to speak with less physical tension and anxiety. The idea is to speak at a normal rate. However, when you feel a block coming, you should slow down, and take your time to say the word.
You should not avoid or replace a feared word. Instead, relax and keep going. Take a deep breath. Feel your jaws, tongue, lips, and throat muscles relax as you approach the word. Begin saying the word after you exhale a little bit. Remember that there's no rush. Keep moving forward till you know that the block is behind you.
Several techniques can help you overcome stuttering blocks. You can find all of them right here. Begin with step 1 and progress to the subsequent steps only after mastering the previous ones.
Goal #2: To Defeat the Embarrassment of Stuttering
You need to learn voluntary stuttering. The main objective is to find confidence in the way you talk and overcome the embarrassment stuttering incites.
One way to overcome the feeling of embarrassment is by repeating the sounds or syllables on which you stutter. Make deliberate repetitions before even trying to say the whole word out loud.
Voluntary stuttering is a part of multiple stuttering treatments for adults. When you are struggling to say a word, you may feel out of control. Deliberate repetitions can help restore the sense of control in someone who has been struggling with stuttering for years.
While the listener may think that you are stuttering all through these words, you know that you are in control of the majority of the deliberately stuttered words.
The technique is useful in dissolving the fear of stuttering and it offers a sense of freedom that many people who stutter haven’t enjoyed while speaking in a long time!
Goal #3: To Get In Touch With Others Who Stutter
Another basic goal should be to find and get in touch with others who stutter. Meeting and speaking with people going through similar struggles in life can help you find a new perspective for your life problems that may not be limited to stuttering.
Stuttering is not just a speech disfluency. It can be the cause of depression, anxiety disorders, and social withdrawal in adults. You may be limiting yourself in your social life and workplace because you believe that society has defined you as a "stutterer."
Stuttering may create multiple crises in a person's life; it can affect their quest for love and performance in the workplace. Attending group sessions with others who stutter can help you find new solutions and explore lesser-known methods that may alleviate your emotional anguish.
Goal #4: To Overcome the Fear of Stuttering
The fear of stuttering is sometimes worse than the stuttering itself. Fear gives rise to physical tension and worsens secondary stuttering behavior. It also sows the seeds of self-doubt like "Are people going to laugh at me", "Do people think I'm stupid", and "Maybe my communication skills are subpar."
Reducing the fear of stuttering is not as easy as it may sound. Fear is a strong negative emotion that has become a part of your life. While you don’t always stutter, the fear of stuttering rarely leaves your side.
That is the primary reason, stuttering treatment for adults isn’t complete without psychological counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It takes considerable time and numerous sessions to free a person of their fear of stuttering and help them rediscover their self-confidence.
It should be a long-term goal for anyone who stutters to overcome their fear of stuttering. At the same time, one must work towards revisiting their self-image and boosting their self-esteem with the help of a trained therapist. A professional counselor may be able to help you align your view with reality as you undergo stuttering treatment.
What Are The Standard Goals For Stuttering Therapy?
The basic goals for each individual who stutters may be different. However, during stuttering therapy, the basic goals for an adult client tend to focus on the three Fs –
Fluency – Your stuttering severity should decrease over time. Your speech therapist may help you monitor and record stuttering severity using SSI or Fluency 5-point scale scores.
Feelings – The individual should aim to improve their positive feelings and attitudes about stuttering. They should be able to overcome the impact of negative reactions that they may have gathered from their listeners, and focus on building their confidence and self-esteem.
Functional impact – It is the overall effect of stuttering on your performance in the different spheres of life. It can extend to your performance as an employee or a student, in your extracurricular activities and socializing abilities.
What Are The Most Common Goals For People Who Stutter?
Multiple factors may contribute to what a person expects to gain out of stuttering therapy. These may include the person's current perception of stuttering, their speaking ability, and their satisfaction levels associated with communication in professional and social settings. However, a majority of these goals include the individual's aspirations for coping in the real world. Studies confirm that adults who stutter want to focus on both the psychological and physiological aspects of stuttering treatment. More than 95% of the individuals who participate in stuttering treatment want to gain “control over their stuttering” rather than look for a cure.