Have you experienced the feeling of being in control of your fluency? That wonderful, euphoric feeling we get after undertaking an intensive stuttering therapy course. To use a simile, an effective fluency technique is like Magic Dust. It is the best feeling a long-term stutterer can have … the feeling of not having any negativity between the ears, and fluency just seems to happen.
Of course it does not just happen straight away! Initially plenty of blood, sweat and tears go into getting your fluency technique up and running. After that initial big effort and the stuttering therapy course is done, most people have the experience of truly being in control of their fluency for the very first time.
To say that we all want that feeling to last forever is certainly an understatement. It would be great to say that long-term fluency results are like the ending of a Disney movie, but for the majority they are not. To say that many people fall off the fluency wagon at some stage is the truth. More than 70% of stutterers who undertake an intensive stuttering therapy course relapse back into stuttering fairly quickly after therapy.
How can that be? Initial results are all good, and we love it … the feeling, the control, the positivity! What causes PWS to fall off the wagon? It's not what, but who. It's US. You, me, we are the cause. During the intensive fluency therapy, we will do anything to rid ourselves of this blemish, and we do. We adhere to the wonderful strategies passed on to us by the experts, and clutch them closely. While we have, to some extent, mastered technique during therapy and laid down new rudimentary neural pathways, they are by no means set in concrete. Our new fluency is fragile and exposed to negativity that we ourselves generate. Negative thoughts regarding our dysfluency have always been there. Undertaking a stuttering therapy course usually sees this negativity disappear for a time. The effect of the negativity is overridden by wonderful solid technique.
Believe in your technique. Persevere with it. If you allow yourself to believe that technique does not work for you, then all is lost.
You know that technique works, you have already proven that to yourself. Continue to ride on the crest of the fluency wave by:
- Practicing every time you open your mouth
- Use perfect technique, not just slow speech
- Put yourself out there in as many speaking situations you can
- Do not play the avoidance game
- Use Skype to help yourself and others
- Have face-to-face meetings with other stutterers to ensure both your and their techniques are perfect
Harness the feeling of being fluent by using your technique.
No one feels that they want to practice all the time, it's just too hard. Let's not call it practice , call it a lifestyle change, something you want to do to achieve a lifestyle you want and the fluency you're trying for.