How to Reduce Negative Attitudes Among our Clients?

Hello! We are second-year students in the Master of Speech Pathology program at the University of South Carolina. Currently, we are taking a fluency course examining the types, causes, and methods of assessment and intervention for stuttering. A common trend that we have discussed regarding stuttering is the need to reduce negative attitudes/feelings and transition into accepting stuttering. As speech-language pathologists, we want to advocate and support people who stutter as much as possible. However, it is often difficult to know how to advocate and help our clients accept their stuttering. What are some techniques/strategies that we as clinicians can implement to reduce negative attitudes/feelings and transition into acceptance?

Thank you,

Brad, Sara Walden, Hannah, and Erin

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How to Reduce Negative Attitudes Among our Clients? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi everyone,

    Some of the other “threads” in the “ask a professional” segment this year address this issue as well, so I’d encourage you to take a look at those. Some of the traditional stuttering modification (e.g., Van Riper) techniques used for desensitization can help reduce negative attitudes and feelings. Some of these would include freezing, voluntary stuttering, self-disclosure of stuttering, joining a support group, giving a class presentation on stuttering, discussing stuttering with friends and neighbors, etc.

    Also, cognitive behavior therapy, which has been used for decades in psychology, is being used more commonly these days in stuttering therapy; there are many great resources available (e.g., from the SFA). Basically, the idea behind CBT is that feelings follow thoughts. So, if a client can treat a thought as a behavior to be changed, he or she can think differently about a given stuttering situation. Hopefully, this leads to feeling differently about it.


  2. Dear Sara, Hannah, and Erin,
    I just posted a reply to Taylor and some others in you class. I won’t repeat it here, but please take a look. I have found support groups to be the best way I have found to deal with negative attitudes.