A conversation on voluntary stuttering

Hi all! 

I am a current post-baccalaureate student in the area of Communicative Sciences & Disorders and am currently enrolled in a class on Fluency Disorders. We have been discussing the therapy technique of voluntary stuttering at length and I was wondering if any PWS would be open to sharing their opinions on the technique or any experiences that you may have had with its use! Do you feel that the technique is helpful and beneficial, or have you had any experiences where you felt that it invalidated the emotional impact that comes with instances of stuttering that are out of your control? Is voluntary stuttering something that you hope future clinicians will practice and later suggest to clients? 

I look forward to hearing from you! Thank you (: 

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A conversation on voluntary stuttering — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for that great question. I’ll answer in two parts!

    I have used voluntary stuttering if I’m doing a talk or presentation on stuttering and I’m not stuttering enough. To be credible as a person who stutters, you have to stutter first, right? And when I do use VS, it almost always turns into a real stutter.

    To the second question, when I was doing very short term therapy in a college setting with SLP grad students, they were assigned to do VS out in the community. In a group, they reported back their experiences. Overwhelmingly, they reported the experience as negative. When they were purposely stuttering, the students said they felt awful: like they were making fun of stuttering, that they were being disrespectful to persons who stutter and they felt very uncomfortable. I’m not sure how often those particular clients recommended VS to the persons who stutter they were working with.


  2. Thanks for that reply, Pam! That is so interesting — I had never thought of that first scenario you mentioned wherein voluntary stuttering acts to add credibility when you present as a PWS. I also did not know that VS often turns into real stuttering.

    As a PWS, do you find individuals who do not stutter participating in voluntary stuttering to be insensitive or disrespectful, or do you think it helps to increase their empathy for PWS and as future clinicians who may suggest this technique to clients?

    Thank you again!


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