Working With a PWS

What has been the hardest part of your job? What was the most rewarding? Do your patients express their emotions from what they feel about their stutter, if so what kind of support do you provide to those that might be feeling not enough because of their stutter?

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Working With a PWS — 3 Comments

  1. Hi there,
    I think the hardest part of the job is just having the time to get everything you need to done, and juggling working hours with caseload size etc. The most rewarding part is definitely when a client thanks you and tells you how speech therapy has been helpful to them – that’s all I need for motivation to remember why I chose this career!
    Any client (or family member) can at times become emotional in therapy (or during assessment) and it is important to let them know that this is OK. Speech and Language Therapy can for some be the first time they really explore or tell someone else how they feel about stuttering and the impact it has had for them. Most SLT training programmes include a course on basic counselling skills, so these can be important to use as a clinician, but again, I think the important thing is to let the individual know that their feelings are valid and they have a right to feel however they want. Within therapy, exploration of communicative strengths and skills can help someone begin to realise that they can have more positive feelings about communication, and this can be very powerful, but if I think that someone needs support to explore their emotions and mental health to an extent that goes beyond my remit or skill set, I will recommend involvement of another appropriate agency (counsellor, psychotherapist etc).
    I hope that’s helpful,
    Jenny

  2. Dear Kasmi0119,

    HI! Thank you for engaging in this year’s conference. We are proud to have you here!

    You asked some great questions:
    What has been the hardest part of your job? What was the most rewarding?
    —The hardest part of my job, it always has and always will, has been to know I can not help, safe, or be everything to everyone I see. As SLPs, who serve others, we sometimes think we can help (safe) everyone. That is not our job. Our job is to do the best we can. The client (and families) need to do their part. And, sometimes it is a matter of timing. Some people are not ready for help, for many reasons. And that is not anyone fault or blame, just timing.

    Do your patients express their emotions from what they feel about their stutter, if so what kind of support do you provide to those that might be feeling not enough because of their stutter?
    —Clients I have had almost all express emotions. We counsel people through various psychotherapy techniques like Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Group Therapy, Family Dynamic Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Exposure Therapy. Whatever might fit that person, at that moment. We are counselors by nature, so learning these skills is vital to be an effective SLP for all clients, not just people who stutter.

    Keep asking questions!
    With compassion and kindness,
    Scott

  3. Hi there! These are all wonderful questions; thanks so much for asking them!
    Question 1: What has been the hardest part of your job?
    -Every job has pros and cons. Speech-Language Pathology is no different. So when the professionals answer this question, remember that. For some jobs, it’s “time” or “paperwork”, etc.. every job has hard parts. For me personally, the hardest part has been like what Jenny said, time. I LOVE time with patients and I don’t get enough of it. I want to keep listening, keep interacting, keep being with them and that hour long treatment session runs out fast to me.
    Question 2: What was the most rewarding?
    -It’s hard to put the answer to this question in human words, as silly as that sounds- because this is an experience, and until you experience it you don’t know how it feels. For me, this has been more than a career but the experience of a lifetime. That’s been the most rewarding part. When I entered the field I thought I was signing up for a career, and I was so wrong about that. I am so excited for you to go into the field if you are, because the experience in itself.. is absolutely amazing.
    Question 3: Do your patients express their emotions from what they feel about their stutter, if so what kind of support do you provide to those that might be feeling not enough because of their stutter?
    -This is a pretty involved question. Stuttering is a very personalized experience for the person experiencing it; so it’s a person to person basis. Sometimes during the initial evaluation a person who stutters will share a whole lot of information, and other times the person won’t share anything emotional- in fact, sometimes it takes the person who stutters six months to share anything hardly emotional at all with you as the clinician. Here’s the thing to always remember: the individual that stutters who is sitting in front of you in the therapy room is a human being just like yourself. No different. This person may feel like sharing things or not- just like you do or don’t. Accept and embrace that. You have to. You can’t force this person to share with you, you just can’t and if you try to, they won’t come back to therapy and you risk traumatizing them. Whatever the person does decide to share with you is gold- and treat it as such. Think about your deepest feeling, and something that affects your life so much, then you decide to confide in a total stranger or someone new about that thing- now times that by ten and that’s kind of what it’s like when someone stutters shares it with a new SLP for the first time but still not like it. Do you see where I am going with this? I hope that this helps to answer your questions. Be well, and thanks for asking these questions!

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