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From: Paul Goldstein
Date: 08 Oct 2011
Time: 19:45:24 -0500
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
Thank you, Chelsey, for this most interesting question! I think the development of self-acceptance and comfort with one's self as a person who stutters should be part of the total "package" of therapy with a person who stutters. This would be true regardless of the specific type of stuttering therapy used. If one has not come to terms with self-acceptance, this would probably work against the achievement of long-term success with any particular approach. It is important for clinicians to explore and talk about these issues with clients. The client should be encouraged to desensitize himself or herself to their stuttering problem, and to the fact that they happen to stutter. Many decades ago, when I was a teenager, there was a particular group that I wanted to join, but was very reluctant to do so because of my severe stuttering. My mother told me something then that I haven't forgotten, some 40 years later. She told me that there should be no problem at all, since having stuttering is "like having a pimple on your nose!" Indeed, we all have our little problems in life, and no human being is perfect. And my experience is that the large majority of people in the world are totally accepting of those who have a particular difference of some type from the expected "norm". This is one area in which a clinician can do some valuable counselling, and help a client understand these important points. One good strategy of desensitization is to encourage a client to "advertise" or talk to people openly about their stuttering (this really helped me). If stuttering becomes an accetable topic of conversation, it loses its emotional sting. Casually mentioning stuttering (or perhaps one's fluency techniques, if that is a focus of therapy) reduces the significance of stuttering to, in the wise words of my mother, "a pimple on the nose". Good luck, Chelsey, with your future career!