Successful Stuttering Management Program (SSMP) Experience


My name is Alex and I am a graduate student that is currently in a Fluency course. I recently presented information to my class about the Successful Stuttering Management Program (SSMP). I was wondering if any of you have had any experience with this program or have attended the camp that Eastern Washington University puts on every summer? The program is very interesting to me due to how intensive it is.

If you have had any experience with this program, what are your thoughts on the program referring to PWS as “stutterers”? I was very caught off guard that individuals who go through this program graduate with the title “Expert Stutterer”. This could be an acceptability feature of the program for the individual who stutters. I have also considered it to be a reason that the most recent publication was almost 20 years ago. I am curious to hear individuals’ thoughts on the program, whether they have considered it for themselves, or recommended it to clients!

Thanks in advance!


 813 total views,  1 views today


Successful Stuttering Management Program (SSMP) Experience — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Alex,

    I’m a PWS and I went through the SSMP in 1997, when it was still run by Dr. Breitenfeldt. Obviously, that was many years ago, so I don’t know how the program has changed since that time. When I went, it was strictly a “stuttering modification” approach, not at all fluency shaping. It was about 3 1/2 weeks in the summer, and we stayed in the EWU dormitories (I was a grad student at LSU at the time). The approach was very “Van Riperian” in nature, focusing on desensitization, identification, modification, and stabilization. The clients would have assignments in the mornings, while the clinicians were taking a fluency disorders class taught by Dr. B. Then, we’d have individual and group therapy sessions in the afternoon, and usually some sort of a group session in the evening. I remember many, many generalization activities throughout the campus and the town of Cheney; going to stores, telephone calls, giving stuttering surveys to people on campus, etc. That’s about the jist of what I remember, but it was a great experience for sure.

  2. Hi Alex,
    Some historical notes. The use of the term Person Who Stutters is derived from General Semantics, which was against labeling a person. Unfortunately, PWS is also a label, so using it only accomplished the task in a half-baked fashion.
    To be really true to General Semantics principles, we are neither “butchers, bakers, or candlestick makers”. We are people who SOMETIMES do these things. Therefore to define someone as a butcher is to delimit his existence.
    In Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy of Stuttering, I try to avoid as much as possible calling someone either stutterer or PWS, because that tends to define them by only one of the hundreds of characteristics or things they do. Yet for the sake of brevity sometimes it is necessary to do so.
    The English is a somewhat limited language and being totally sensible and rational it would be rather inefficient. So, I would not dismiss SSMP because of that. My quarrel as a practitioner of REBTS is that not enough REBT or CBT type of counseling is taking place.