“Go-to” therapy materials for clients who stutter

Hello! I am currently a graduate student in a fluency disorders course! Recently, we started to discuss treatment and will be discussing therapy techniques soon. There are tons of therapy tools out there for stuttering, and I wanted to know what your “go-to” materials are? Is there a certain material (published or unpublished) that you use often with your clients who stutter?

If you are someone who stutters, I would love to hear your input as well. What materials did your SLP use that you feel helps/felt helped you make progress?

Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you all!

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“Go-to” therapy materials for clients who stutter — 3 Comments

  1. Hello, Courtneyd,

    There are many materials available to support clinicians in working with people who stutter. While there are some materials that I find helpful, that does not mean that other materials are not also quite beneficial. I will list a few of the references that I find very helpful, though this is only a few.

    I use quite a bit of information that is available on the internet with clients:
    1) Joseph Sheehan’s iceberg analogy is readily available, and is a great resource for helping clients begin to understand the symptoms of their stuttering that are readily observed by others with whom they speak, and, probably more importantly, the symptoms and experiences of stuttering that are not easily seen from the outside, but are quite important and known to the person who stutters. And, it illustrates that for many who stutter, the unobserved aspects of stuttering may make up a greater proportion of the symptoms/signs.
    2) There are many wonderful materials related to counseling via Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, and more that help SLPs address the feelings, thoughts and emotions that often become part of the stuttering disorder. In addition to becoming familiar with these resources, it is critical to get some training in counseling, either beginning with your graduate program if they have a counseling course, or after graduation, through a variety of continuing education options that are out there. Some of the best training resources are not in our field, but are available through the fields of psychology and social work.
    3) “Working with school-age children who stutter: Basic principle problem solving” by Kristin Chmela and June Campbell (published by Super Duper) is a very solid introduction to working with school age children. They base their therapy on the principles of Hugo Gregory, one of the ‘grandfathers’ of fluency therapy.
    4) There are many materials available, both within and outside of our field on basic communication skills. I spend time having clients brainstorm characteristics of strong/good communicators, as many of the skills that will help those who stutter are more than ‘stuttering techniques’. For example, knowing how to start conversations and sustain them, how to advocate for yourself (everyone needs to know how to do this, as many of us are interrupted and need to learn how to hold our speaking turn), etc.
    5) Podcasts and blogs by others who stutter can be helpful in finding great topics for conversation with clients about stuttering. StutterTalk by Peter Reitzes is one, and there are also some good podcasts available on the Stuttering Foundation website.
    6) The Stuttering Homepage, hosted by Minnesota State University-Mankato and Judy Kuster, its webmaster, is a large respository of information and resources on stuttering. It is a bit cumbersome to sift through the large number of entries there, but well worth the time and effort.

    These are just a few of the resources that have been helpful to me over the years. As I said, this is truly only a few, but I hope that you find them helpful.

    All the best,

    Lynne Shields

  2. Dear Courtney,
    For counseling I would recommend Clark “SOS Help for Emotions” and Neiders and Ross “From Stuttering to Fluency: Manage Your Emotions and Live More Fully”. Both are easy reads and provide an excellent foundation.

  3. Ooh, there are so many resources I could mention. I’m just going to limit myself to a couple for now, but these are both available through the website of the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering which is based in London, UK. These are resources which are aimed at helping teachers provide appropriate support for children who stutter. There’s a great video called “Wait, wait, I’m not finished yet…” where children and teenagers who stutter describe what they want (and don’t want) from their teachers. The video is available at the bottom of this webpage: http://whittington.nhs.uk/default.asp?c=30936.

    From the same webpage, you can also download a “Suggestions sheet” called “Supporting pupils who stammer” which explains what stuttering is and is full of practical tips and advice for teachers.