Cognitive Issues That Affect People Who Stutter - Part 2

Newsletter 65: July 2015

Part 2 of a two-part discussion of cognitive issues that affect people who stutter (PWS) and their ability to transition to real-world situations.

Cut the Umbilical Cord ... Use Technique out in the Real World

Following the Smooth Speech intensive courses it was strongly recommended that the individual continued daily practice of technique, formed phone buddies and used the technique wherever possible in real world situations. During the intensives, people found comfort, support and motivation within a group environment. It was important to recreate the feeling of being in control of fluency. To be surrounded by like-minded people was a great way to start.

For this reason, the Australian Speak Easy Association (ASEA) was formed. The ASEA has been there to offer support for recovering stutterers for over 35 years. It’s a link between the practice of excellent technique and the ‘real world’. The support GROUP situation plays an important role in the transition to outside speaking.

In the early days there was little discussion about the cognitive issues. The intensive courses didn’t really address the difficulty of using excellent fluency technique in REAL WORLD situations. This wonderful new fluency technique that worked really well in the clinical situation didn’t result in a lot of fluency success for many people once they went out in their real world.

Without constant practice and continual use of good technique, the old negative perceptions and thoughts are still present as well as some new ones:

“I have difficulty because I believe I sound too different.”
“People think I am stupid because of my technique.”
“I don’t sound like my normal self.”
“The technique doesn’t work for me.”

The MIND is still telling you mistruths!

The mind stacks the negativity and reminds you of it regularly. Now is the time to be BOSS over your mind and choose a new thinking track.

It is strongly believed by speech pathologists, psychologists and other practitioners that good fluency therapy must go hand in hand with cognitive retraining.

Be Armed with the Knowledge:

People don’t care how you speak! They are generally focussed on their own needs, desires and their own psychological issues.

People are generally supportive of others and think highly of people who strive to overcome personal barriers.

The 2015 Mt Alford Boonah Camp which was held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June was another successful event. During the session about cognitive issues, these questions were asked:
  1. Why is transition to the REAL world difficult?
  2. How do you enhance transition to the REAL world?
The group responded and suggested why transition can be difficult:
  • Less control over ‘Real Life’ situations
  • Loud noises and other distractions
  • The feeling that you have to match the speaking rates
  • Anxiety
  • General distractions
  • The feeling of being rushed
  • The pressure to use technique / perform
  • Feels strange
  • Lack of discipline
  • General laziness
The group suggested ways to enhance transition:
  • Record your own excellent technique and listen to it
  • Use friends and family as supporters
  • Positive self-visualisation
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Rehearsing
  • Use what works for you
  • Positive affirmations
  • Plan and focus
  • Specific cognitive training
  • Perfect practice
  • Disclosure
The whole group was delighted to see Judy Rafferty (psychologist) arrive and sit in on the session. There was a short question and answer session and Judy gave us the benefit of her years of training and experience.

Just be aware that the cognitive issues that cause concerns in transition vary according to the individual and what works for some may not work for others. Not only just for PWS, but everyone could benefit from an examination of our thoughts and perceptions.

Cognitive Program for People Who Stutter
The Stammer Stopper
The Ezy-Speech team is very happy to announce that Judy Rafferty's Cognitive Program for PWS is available free to anyone who has bought a Training & Support Pack.
Please contact us if you would like a copy.
It is also available for purchase.
Judy Rafferty is our Ezy-Speech psychologist.

Ezy-Speech Affirmation of the Month


I choose my thoughts with love and understanding.

The Ezy-Speech Team

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