Stuttering interventions


My name is Celine Bilsel. I am currently an undergraduate student at Cal State Fullerton studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. In my fluency class, we are currently studying about stuttering. Based on your working experience with people who stutter, what is the best treatment option for them? Which one is more effective? Did your clients find voluntary stuttering beneficial? 

Thank you kindly,

Celine Bilsel

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Stuttering interventions — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Celine,
    Thank you for your question and for your interest in stuttering!
    When it comes to stuttering, I personally do not use the word treatment, because we treat something that we want to remove, or separate from ourselves. I would liken stuttering to a tendency- that one can accept, and control.
    As you might have read in many of the discussion threads in this wonderful conference, working with stuttering is a unique give and take between every PWS and their therapist, and there cannot possibly be one recipe that works for all. Very broadly speaking though, any approach that tackles the web of interrelated aspects of stuttering- the blocks, the struggle, the thoughts and the feelings – makes a long term difference to those who stutter.
    About voluntary stuttering, I would not be able to share much because I have not used it with too many of the PWS I have met. But I’m sure many of my colleagues would share their experiences.
    I HAVE got positive reviews about the use of disclosure though. Data from a project by one of my students has recently revealed that disclosing about one’s stuttering does not adversely affect listeners’ perceptions of PWS, at least in India. For the speaker, it really helps take a good bit of communicative load off the PWS.
    Finally, I am sure PWS on this forum could share their own anecdotal experiences with the use of voluntary stuttering as well as disclosure better than any professional could!


  2. Hi Celine-

    Great question! I see that Dr. Kelkar has already given you some great information. I’ll add a few of my own thoughts.

    One thought that I have is that it can be really helpful to think more about the individual client and his/her profile than picking the ‘best’ overall therapy approach (I don’t think one actually exists since stuttering is so variable and individual). As we develop an understanding of our client’s stuttering and communication on a whole, as well as his/her goals for therapy – we can then begin to create a treatment plan that best fits that client. This often requires us to take ‘bits and pieces’ of different approaches, so that we are meeting the needs of our clients in the best way possible at that moment.

    If we try to learn one approach that we feel is best/most successful and then fit our clients into that approach – we are often doing our clients (and selves) a major disservice.

    My advice to you would be to learn as much as you can about stuttering therapy in general. The more you know, the more equip you are to guide your clients toward their goals using critical thinking and evidence-based practice. I would also actively involve your clients in the goal-setting process and figure out what is truly important to them when it comes to therapy/their communication. Both of these steps will help to give you a lot of helpful information as you move forward with the client’s treatment process.

    I hope this helps!


  3. Hi Celine,

    I would just add to Jaime’s response that the IMPACT of stuttering on a person’s life dictates much of what we may explore in therapy. For example, if they’re not talking in social situations and want to increase their engagement in social contexts, what would empower them to do so? Would it be building their confidence as a communicator? Would it be stuttering easier? Would it be disclosing that they stutter, or a combination of these things? There is not ONE best approach because it largely depends on the client’s goals, their desires, their perceived barriers, their needs, and so on. It’s very individualized!

    Ana Paula