Make Room For The Stuttering

Breathing Is Just Breathing, Right?

Posted on: July 24, 2014

One of the most popular posts on this blog, the one that gets the most visitors, is a post titled Breathe In, Breathe Out, that I wrote on April 15, 2010. I think it’s so popular because people who stutter are often looking for techniques that can help to manage stuttering.

The program that focuses most on breathing is the McGuire program. This program stresses the use of costal breathing, where students are taught diaphragmatic breathing techniques. Graduates of the McGuire method practice breathing techniques daily in order for speaking to sound natural.

When I attended speech therapy a few years ago, one of the techniques that the student clinicians taught us was “full breath.” This was part of traditional fluency shaping therapy.

For me, I always found it difficult to concentrate on my breathing and trying to speak at the same time. Both are automatic, things I do without thinking. I breathe with ease. Sometimes I speak with ease, sometimes I struggle when I speak.

When I block, I can sometimes feel myself run out of air and feel breathless. That can be such a helpless, out-of-control feeling. But I still don’t want to take the time to stop and think about breathing and speaking on a full breath.

To me, breathing is just breathing and shouldn’t require extra, specific thought. I’m curious – what do you think?


3 Responses to "Breathing Is Just Breathing, Right?"

Yeah I agree! I remember in high school, I would practice my breathing for almost an hour a day, thinking it would help be more fluent. It was really difficult for me to transition that to the real world though. I do think breathing is an important part of just slowing.

I agree Pam. When stuttering is no longer an issue as a result of a fluency shaping program, my clients find that they breathe just fine. I don’t work on breathing during treatment (they already know how to breath). They learn to produce speaking behaviors that replace their stuttered speech.

Mark Power, M.A. BCS-FD
Power Stuttering Center

I also agree, Pam. When stuttering is replaced by behaviors that reduce or eliminate it, in a fluency shaping program, breathing is not an issue. My clients have always known how to breathe.

Mark Power, M.A. BCS-FD
Power Stuttering Center

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