How to be a clinician and also an advocate?

Hello! My name is Amanda Collins and I am a senior at CSUF. Im currently taking a Fluency class and I have a question regarding being part of a team that supports the holistic growth of people and communication. In the past few lectures and videos I’ve gotten to experience, as well as much of the content on this site, I have come to notice the theme of negative experience within speech therapy for PWS. Often, many PWS have felt like their therapy only added a negative self image on top of their experience. Our professor has made a huge part of our course focus on the concept of “do no harm”. It seems, that in many cases more harm was done than good.

As a PWS, what can you tell prospective SLPs to consider before beginning work with PWS? What do you wish your past (or current) providers would undertand about the work that should to be done versus what is being implemented in therapy session? How do you feel SLPs can be better advocates for you and not someone trying to change you?

I appreciate the work you all are doing in this conference and am grateful for all the information I’ve seen so far. Thank you!

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How to be a clinician and also an advocate? — 2 Comments

  1. If approached “correctly”, SLPs are advocates. They don’t have to be fixers, just someone sharing the experience of stuttering with a client.
    Just listening and validating can be therapeutic.


  2. Thank you so much Amanda for your question. As a person who stutters and also a SLP in training, I totally see the value of your question and I keep hearing this question being asked by beginning clinicians. Your struggle/question is not alone. And I can tell you on the right track from the questions you ask.
    I agree with Pam, the best way to approach to your client is listening and validating. Being an ally is far more effective than someone who is trying to “fix” him/her. For example, doing psudostuttering together with your client in a coffee shop and show him/her how you would live your life as a person who stutters. Once your client sees you truly values their living experience and therapy will happen more easily and naturally.
    Hope the reply helps:)