Resourcing and Grounding

RESOURCING means naming and using positive things in your life to connect to calming sensations inside and bring yourself back to your Resilient Zone. When in the Resilient Zone we feel whole in mind, body and spirit. We are better able to handle the ups and downs of daily living. When you get bumped out of your resiliency zone (i.e. triggered by worries, anxiety, preoccupied with what others are thinking) then you need to use your resourcing skills.

GROUNDING is a set of strategies to detach from emotional pain, (i.e. racing and thoughts, negative talk, worries, anger, sadness). Distraction works by focusing outward on the external world, rather than inward toward the self. You rate yourself before and after the grounding (on a scale of 1 – 10).

Resourcing and Grounding Stuttering

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Resourcing and Grounding — 16 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Thank you for providing some useful tools for improving the emotional well being of people who stutter. Since theses strategies require the ability to reflect inwardly, is the target audience older children and adults? If you have used this with younger kids, did you make adaptations?
    Thank you,

    • Gretchen,

      Great question. These can be used with both adults and older children. For younger kids some of the words can be changed that are friendlier. For example “Internal Resources” can be changed to “Inside Focus” for teens. What words work for you? Let us know.

      • Hi again,
        I’m actually a second year graduate student studying speech-language pathology. I have not had a client who stutters, but I am currently taking a Fluency class. I like the phrase “inside focus.” I’m not sure what else I would use.

        • Maybe something also like “My superpowers” to signal a focus on strengths, knowledge, etc. I thought of the Superflex social thinking approach when reflecting on this and how kids love typically love superheros and can understand that they have positive attributes to be admired/applied. So why not have kids think of the “superhero” inside them too?

  2. These are some wonderful strategies! It made me think, when rating oneself before and after grounding, if done regularly, eventually it could possibly be expressed in some sort of graph or chart to indicate change over time in one’s grounding ability.

    Would you recommend resource listing one time and then regularly referring back to those listed internal and external resources?

    • Hi, Kathleen, Thank you for reading our paper.

      Sure, a measurement tool can be helpful to see the progress with using grounding inside and outside of treatment. The client can verbally tell you as well what they are noticing when using skils, and keep a pocket journal to jot down some thoughts to discuss in therqapy.

      For resourcing, the list can be done, and then reviewed later if there are new ones to add or others than may not be working and can be removed. We want to have the resources solid. Yes, reminding a client what their resources are is very helpful.

      All the best. Please keep in touch with us through are website,

      Take care,

    • Kathleen,

      Hi there. Great ideas. I like to use a “self-made” measurement tool. For example, together we might use “hurts all the time” on one side and “doesn’t hurt at all” on the other side. I find that this allows the client to create a scale that is meaningful directly to their own language and thoughts.

      Many therapeutic models use different types of internal resourcing. In EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) we generally work with patients to develop a set of resources that the person can go to at any time. I find this extremely useful.

      Many times there are the resources such as speech language tools, advertising, and voluntary stuttering to turn to use. I also like to use internal resources. For example, a patient imagines being at the beach at dusk. This image softens and calms the patient. I would use this image as a place the patient can go to at any time. it’s like a secret power that your patient can turn to anywhere.

      Great conversations

      Elizabeth Kapstein

  3. Hello!

    My name is Katelyn Bauman and I am a 2nd year graduate student at the University of MN Duluth. I am currently taking an Advanced Fluency Course. I found this article full of some great insight to strategies to use with PWS. I have a few questions for you:

    1. Have you found certain strategies more effective than others? Is there a “go to”?

    2. What age groups do you suggest using these strategies with? What is the youngest age?

    • Katelyn,

      Great questions. I generally try multiple grounding and visualization tools with patients. It’s hard to know which one will work the best. I like the 3-part breath a great starter to reset the breath and the moment.

      These techniques can be modified for any age and/or attention focus. The younger the patient, the shorter the technique. For example, the technique can be cut down to one option that fits the client.

      Keep the dialogue going

      Elizabeth Kapstein

  4. Hi,

    Thank you for providing these tools and supportive techniques. It was mentioned that the forms could be adapted for children by modifying the language used to be more child-friendly. Can the use of Breaking Out be flexible when obtaining answers? For example, is it recommend to use the tools in a specific order, or is the order not imperative?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you,

    • Rocio,

      Great question. There is no specific order in individual work. I generally bring in the tool that I feel best fits the moment. The most important part of the work is the connection between you and your patient. I generally find that a breathing technique works well. Keep in mind if during the technique, you find it is not working, change to another one. Not only does it show how you are connected to your patient, but that it’s okay to change and make adjustments at any time.

      Let us know how it works for you!

      Elizabeth Kapstein

  5. Thank you for these resources! As a future SLP, I can see the value of utilizing these questions in order to help support the emotional journey for a PWS. I believe grounding can help a PWS be present in the moment of speaking/stuttering in order to build self-awareness and let go of self-judgment.

  6. Hi,

    Thank you for this wonderful article providing useful and practical tools for helping PWS improve their emotional well being and stay resilient. I am a second year graduate student currently taking a fluency course. We learned about the difficulties a person has at the time of his/her stutter. I was wondering how successful this strategy is when utilized at the time of the disfluency. Has it been shown to help the person speak more fluently or help them continue speaking through their stutter with more confidence?

    Thank you,

    • Shira,

      Great questions, thanks for bringing them to us. So much of the negative experiences get focused on ideas around fluency. I appreciate that you are wondering about the experience for the PWS while “continue speaking through the stutter.” So much of the experience actually gets caught up in the reaction from the people listening. I find that working on acceptance of the stutter and separating it from the buildup of low-self esteem or self-worth from reacting to the negative looks and responses from the audience can greatly contribute to a loss in belief in the PWS. It also can create a loss in feeling grounded in the moment of speaking. Sometimes it can lead to disassociation. The idea of finding ways to stay grounded while speaking can strengthen the PWS and bring confidence in each speaking moment.

      Enjoy your class and let’s keep talking.

      Elizabeth Kapstein

  7. Thanks for the important tools. There’s so much more to stuttering therapy than speech training, as stuttering is so much more than speech itself. I use Mindfulness, NLP, meditation, Qigong etc, and I wish all of these tools would become a natural part of therapy. Thanks for thinking outside the box.

    Keep talking!

    Anita S. Blom, Sweden