Saturday, October 29, 2005

KST: Day 14-17 More transfer

The last days of the therapy went by quite fast. Not much new. The point was to practise transfer situations like phone calls, talking in front of people (we visited a school of speech and language therapists), and daily tasks like ordering in a restaurant or shop. Most patients were very fluent, except possibly two. Some used the techniques, some to some extent, and others didnt. We were recorded on video. On the last day, everyone had to conduct an interview with by-passers in a shopping mall. It was amazing to see the videos and compare them to the before-therapy recordings of the same situation. Especially one video struck me. Before therapy he was stuttering severely and really came across as a troubled man: no smiling, lots of tension, somber look. But the video at the end of the therapy was very different. He didnt stutter, smiled at the by-passer, and was relaxed. He was someone you would happily invite to your barbecue to get the vibes going... Just shows how much a speech impediment can impact on the expression of the real personality.

And now a more critical note. Most were very fluent, but virtually all had seeds for relapse. The point is that many who experienced fluency did not use the techniques a lot. And from my own experience I know that sooner or later the old habits and blocks are coming back slowly unless you keep them at bay and constantly (even obsessively) praticise and use the techniques. I am wondering whether therapists can predict who will relapse and who will not. I once asked Eva Heuer who worked for the KST who said that she could not really detect a pattern. I should really ask all the therapists about it. If any of you is a therapist, let me know whether you think you can. I did the analysis of the KST data for long-term outcome, and we couldnt find anything except severity of stuttering before therapy, which is not very promising.

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