Make Room For The Stuttering

Things I Look For In Therapy

Posted on: February 16, 2009

I an adult who stutters who kept it hidden or covert for years, because I was afraid of how people would respond or react to me. Because of my fears and shame, I missed out on a lot! I finally had enough about 3 years ago, and have slowly worked towards being more open and allowing myself to stutter freely. It has been a wonderful journey, with the usual bumps and turns.

I have been writing on and off for the past several years, and finally decided to organize my stuff and make it available for others to read. This was something I wrote shortly realizing how helpful therapy has been for me as an adult. I had speech therapy for one year as a kid when I was in third grade. I do not recall it being particularly useful.

  • Person –centered therapy: the clinician sees me as a person first, and not just a source of data collection.
  • Acceptance: the clinician makes it clear that stuttering is OK, and is as comfortable letting me stutter, and listening to me stutter as she is with teaching fluency shaping or stuttering modification techniques.
  • My clinician and I work together to come up with goals that are meaningful to my life. The things that we work on have relevance to my life, such as workplace presentations, interpersonal communication, reducing anxiety.
  • My clinician will not ask me to do anything she herself is not comfortable doing. For example, when we worked on voluntary stuttering, the best clinician did it with me, even when she felt really weird doing it, so she got a good sense of how it feels to really stutter.
  • My clinician and I recognize that life is a work in progress. Sometimes a therapy may change, or something may come up that becomes more of a priority. That is ok. I should be getting out of therapy exactly what I need.
  • My clinician looks for opportunities that will help me push outside of my comfort zone.
    I look for innovative ways to engage in therapy and my clinician goes along with it. For example, I have recorded presentations I have done at work and we have reviewed them together to come up with ideas as to what I might want to work on next time. My clinicians have also listened to pod casts I have done and looked at my You Tubes.
  • I need to work with a clinician who is comfortable with stuttering and is not afraid of it. That is the most important thing to me—you can get a sense of how the therapeutic relationship will go based on clinician’s comfort level.
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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.