Book Review: Mindfulness & Stuttering
Posted April 29, 2014on:
I recently read Ellen-Marie Silverman’s book Mindfulness & Stuttering: Using Eastern Strategies to Speak with Greater Ease. To put it simply, this is a book about change. A good book about change!
Silverman introduces how mindfulness can help us reduce the fear we associate with stuttering (or always have.) Reducing the fear of stuttering allows us to speak with less struggle, even if we stutter as we speak.
Silverman offers a clear and simple definition of mindfulness. She offers that mindfulness is a process of attending calmly, without judgement, to what we are thinking, feeling and doing in the moment.
“The more mindful we become by attending to what is rather than anticipating what might be or regretting what was, the more capable we are of creating the change we want.” In the case of stuttering, that change is to speak with less struggle, less tension and, as the title of the book suggests, with greater ease.
Silverman reminds us repeatedly, through this easy-to-read book, that mindfulness is a process that requires practice and dedication, even if it is only for a short period of time. I liked learning that I could practice mindfulness even for only 5 minutes at a time.
Mindfulness helps change how we think about stuttering, if we allow ourselves to be present in the moments of stuttering. For me, being present in the moment of stuttering was always difficult. In my very covert days, I was constantly worrying about what the listener might think of me. I also found that I wasn’t listening to my communication partner because I was rehearsing what I was going to say next. I wasn’t paying attention. I clearly wasn’t mindful.
Being present with our stuttering is the key to how mindfulness can help us change our stuttering. We can change how we react to our stuttering and become kinder and gentler with ourselves. When we practice mindfulness, our stuttering becomes easier, which is the goal.
Mindfulness is a process that can be learned. With dedicated practice, mindfulness can help us make changes in our lives and make our stuttering easier.
Making stuttering easier with a practice that can be done anytime, anywhere, is definitely worth exploring.
I recommend readers get Ellen-Marie Silverman’s book and learn about a way to manage stuttering that can last a lifetime.