Treatment approaches

Hello, my name is Analiese Cox and I am an undergraduate student at CSUF studying communication disorders. I am taking a fluency class this semester, and we have learned that treatments can vary from client to client. I am curious to see if there are any treatment approaches that professionals or their clients may prefer. As professionals, are there any specific treatment methods or approaches that you feel benefit your clients the most? Alternatively, are there any treatment methods that a majority of your clients who stutter seem to prefer? 

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Treatment approaches — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Analiese-

    Thanks for your questions. Here are some of my 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. Plus, when a client truly feels listened too, then they are way more likely to be an active player in the therapeutic process as well.

    On another note, I will say that I have a personal and professional interest in the use of counseling-type approaches within our field. So, these are approaches that I also tend to read and continue learning about too. Over the past ten years, I’ve worked with a friend and colleague on exploring the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness with clients who stutter. There’s some pretty cool research out there to look at if your interested.

    Best,
    ~Jaime

  2. Hi Analiese,

    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