Cognitive behaviour therapy for stuttering

Published on March 31, 2019   27 min

Other Talks in the Series: Speech Dysfluency

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During this presentation, I will talk about the rationale for cognitive behaviour therapy with adults who stutter. I will give a brief overview of some of the procedures used during cognitive behaviour therapy. Finally, I will present evidence for using a cognitive behaviour therapy package specifically developed for adults who stutter.
Stuttering is a chronic disorder for adults. The most efficacious treatment for adults who stutter is speech restructuring. Speech restructuring involves teaching clients to control their stuttering by speaking with a novel speech technique. Initially, a client will speak in an unnatural way. This speech technique is known to be able to reduce stuttering. The unnatural technique is initially used with a speech language pathologist and during home practice tasks. When clients can control their stuttering using the unnatural sounding speech technique. They then learn to speak using the technique more naturally so that the technique feels and sounds natural and difficult for others to detect. Once this is achieved, clients begin using their speech technique during their daily talking. It must be said that in order for clients to use this new technique during their daily talking, ongoing attention to their speech is required.
Despite the fact that many adults can learn to control his stuttering, many will show some decline at this speech treatment benefits in the long term. This has been an issue for those who stutter and speech language pathologists for sometime. Up to 70 percent of clients will show some decline of treatment benefits long term. Only during the last decade has a compelling explanation for this relapse right emerged. Participants in a large cohort of adults seeking treatment for stuttering completed a range of mental health assistance. Two-thirds of the participants were diagnosed with one or more mental health disorders. They all received speech restructuring treatment and, as a group, all achieved a reduction in stuttering.