Talk to a Professional Question!

Hello! My name is Drew Cude and I am an undergraduate at CSUF, hoping to become a SLP int he future. As a clinician, how can I always make sure I am helping my client rather than hurting them. What are some strategies for treatment that you believe has been the best for your clients who stutter?

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Talk to a Professional Question! — 5 Comments

  1. Hi Drew
    In my opinion if you stay abreast of recent advances in therapy and ensure you don’t use outdated methods; and stay alert and observant as a clinician (and look for signs of disillusionment, demotivation, etc.), there are less chances of therapy causing harm. Reiterating what many of my colleagues have already stated, focusing on aspects of stuttering beyond just core behaviours is extremely important. Impact assessment tools go a long way in giving you a direction if you are a beginning clinician. It helps even more if the tool is cut out for your culture. In our institute, we use the Impact Scale for Assessment of Cluttering and Stuttering (ISACS). It has a version for the adolescent/ adult who stutters and one for their significant other. Having an indigenous normative, it works as a good tool for planning therapy as well as an outcome measure.

    • Thank you Dr. Pallivari! I agree with you about focusing beyond just the core behaviors, I have learned about this in my class, and I participated in a pseudo-stuttering assignment and learned a lot more about core behaviors and secondary behaviors.

  2. Hi Drew-
    Great question! Research shows us that the relationship established between a client and their clinician is one of the most important and impactful factors in the therapeutic process – way more so than any ‘therapy approach’ that is used. Given this information, I think it’s really important that you take the time needed to really build that relationship with your client. If your therapy room feels like a safe space, then your client is way more likely to open up and share with you, as well as feel comfortable talking with you.

    Then, take some time to figure out your client’s values – what is truly important to them. Also, involve them in the goal-writing process. Ask them what they want to get out of therapy, what their goals are, etc. Go with that – and try to put your own thoughts, biases, plans to the side. At the end of the day, therapy is our client’s time and we want them to use it in a way that is important to them. This is the best way for any change/progress to carry over outside of the therapy room.

    I hope this helps!

  3. Hi Drew,

    Have you ever read David Shapiro’s personal story entitled “A Way Through the Forest: One Boy’s Story With a Happy Ending”? It’s available here:

    There is so much you can glean from this story, but it highlights the importance of client-centered treatment – meeting them where they are, empowering them to talk freely, and really listening to them (their interests, wants, desires, needs, aspirations). There is so much value in being heard and understood!

    Ana Paula

  4. Thank you Jaime! After taking many of my COMD classes I really learned that it is very important to build a rapport with my clients. After evaluations and assessments I also agree with involving my clients with the goal-writing process because as you stated “therapy is our client’s time” and if they are being told to work on something they do not want the help with then they will not work on it.

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