What happens to you when the time comes and there is an opportunity to speak? Do you clam up? Do you say to yourself, “I should keep my mouth shut because I always make a fool of myself by stuttering”? Do you move away and let the opportunity pass you by?
Often people who stutter / stammer (PWS) build up a huge portfolio of negative thoughts and perceptions about themselves, their stutters and how others think of them. More often than not, these unhelpful thoughts or perceptions cause PWS to avoid interacting with others, or going anywhere that places them in a situation where conversation could be involved.
Just because you think something about yourself, another person or a situation, does not need to make it true! We all have control over our own thoughts. Even negative thoughts that we have carried with us for years can be dominated by a more positive thought pattern. It's up to us.
I know a fellow who is in his forties and has a stutter. He mentioned to me once, “People think I am stupid because I stutter.” This person has normal intelligence, so I asked him the reason he had this thought. He responded, “One day when I was ten I asked a lady for a chocolate milkshake and she laughed at me when I stuttered.” This was the only reason he had engaged this negative thought with him his whole life. He really believed people thought he was stupid because he has a stutter / stammer. This thought was of course not true, but the problem for this fellow was that he felt it was very true.
The negative thinking that has helped reinforce your stutter over the years must be suppressed so that your new positive speech technique can be adopted and put in place. The only person who can make these decisions so that positive changes can happen is, guess who? …. YOU.
A vital part of any treatment for stuttering is cognitive retraining. You need to accept that there has to be a significant change in thinking habits and self perceptions before any changes are attempted in the way you speak. In other words, before you undertake any form of therapy to help manage your stuttering you must be prepared for a major change in yourself as an individual.
Good home-based stuttering therapy programs are available. Few include excellent cognitive retraining. Seek out the very best home-based therapy program available.
Join me on that road to fluency.