Could you please comment on recent research (Helgadottir et al. JSLHR 2014) that confirms that many SLPs working with those who stutter may be using safety behaviors as a means of managing social anxiety, and this could be having the effect of sustaining social anxiety. Many of the safety behaviors identified by clinicians were widely recommended by SLPs working with those who stutter as a means to manage anxiety. Examples included “encourage the listener to speak more by asking questions”, “let partner do the talking”, “try not to draw attention to yourself”. All of these strategies are of course ultimately unhelpful as they encourage the maintenance of threat belief.
Given it is the social anxiety that most compromises quality of life, would any of the experts NOT support calls for both a greater awareness of the possibility of Social Anxiety Disorder existing with stuttering and the use by SLPs of a screen (eg LSAS or SPIN) for Social Anxiety Disorder in their stuttering clients.
Regards to all,
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