Recover From Stuttering - Cognitive Treatment is a Must

Newsletter 20: October 2011

Current Australian research supports the cognitive treatment of stutterers. Cognition refers to thinking. Cognitive treatment addresses thought patterns that are considered to be detrimental to one's wellbeing. Our thoughts are critical in determining how we feel about ourselves and others. A research program conducted in Victoria and NSW selected a number of stutterers and divided them into two groups. One group received both cognitive therapy and speech therapy. The other group was given speech therapy only. After 12 months each group was assessed for fluency and cognitive style. The results showed that the group which received only speech therapy had very low levels of fluency while the group that undertook both speech therapy and cognitive instruction showed moderate levels of fluency and in addition their thought patterns were much more positive.

It is the general consensus that speech therapy (no matter what form) without cognitive inputs results in poor long-term fluency.

For a moment let’s forget about the physical side of a stutter and the generally unknown causes of the affliction. Low self-esteem and negative perceptions of what others are thinking about us tend to feed the dysfluency. Thoughts are powerful and not necessarily factual. They drive our actions and reactions.

“I am going to stutter now, this guy makes me nervous.” Sure enough, you do stutter, you were right. Your mind told you so.

“Once, when I was 8, I tried to order a chocolate milkshake. I stuttered really badly. The lady behind the counter laughed at me.” The man (now 45) refers to this story when speaking to a speech pathologist. Even after many years negative thoughts and experiences can run very deep and continue to mould our actions and reactions throughout our lives.

It is so very important to get the mind back on track. Look at negative thinking in terms of how it relates to your stutter. Thoughts can be broken down and analysed:

- Is this thought worth having?
- Is this thought true?
- Does this person really think of me this way?
- Is this thought something I have put there to keep me safe?

Cognitive treatment for stuttering is important to ensure that the large amount of time you invest in your new and wonderful fluency technique is worthwhile. If you are not boss over your mind and harness positive thought patterns regarding the new fluent you, the old negative thought patterns may emerge and drag you down.

The Ezy-Speech team is excited about the upcoming launch of Judy Rafferty's new Cognitive Program for PWS. *International Stuttering Awareness Day, 22 October, is the special milestone around which the timing of the launch is planned. This Cognitive Program will be freely available to Ezy-Speech members who purchase the Training & Support Pack, as well as being available for others to purchase. The final details will be announced soon. Learn how to turn that negativity into positive outcomes for the future. (Judy Rafferty is our Ezy-Speech psychologist.)

*In 1998, October 22 was designated International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD). On this day every year stuttering organisations from around the world participate in raising public awareness about this speech disorder. 2009 marked the debut of a stuttering awareness ribbon. Its colour is sea green. Blue has traditionally been associated with calm, while green represents freedom and justice. The combination of these colours reflects the bond between peace and liberation. For people who stutter (PWS), it symbolises the support and community with other people who understand and share their experiences.

Ezy-Speech supports Stuttering Awareness Day by supporting People Who Stutter.

Ezy-Speech Affirmation of the Month


I am boss over my mind and never allow negative thoughts to take control of my fluency.

The Ezy-Speech Team

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