Friday, February 16, 2007

Has therapy improved? (Part I)

Holger Stenzel commented that therapy has not much changed over the last decades, did not help him much and has no great potential for improvement.

Due to my still relatively young age of 34, I can only compare between now and 20 years ago. Here are my observations.

1) Therapists know more about stuttering, and have to accept that a) stuttering has a genetic component, and b) the brain is working differently.

2) Few therapists are left that believe that stuttering is purely due to psychological troubles.

3) Many therapists realise that self-help therapies like McGuire are as effective if not more effective in some cases, but are not suited for the more sensitive types.

4) Many therapists realise that the most effective therapies are multi-dimensional.

5) Relapse is taken much more seriously, and maintenance plays are more important role.

6) Self-therapy (helping yourself) has become so much easier, especially the first steps towards making stuttering a dimension in your life that you need to work on as opposed to the one thing in your life that controls you. The reasons for this progress are

a) Learning about your stuttering is so much easier.

Everyone with access to the Internet can find out about his/her stuttering without any danger of being outed. Twenties years ago many lived a life of ignorance about their disorder. No possibility to get objective feedback apart from some stupid comments from your grandmother, the secretary of your school, and so on.

b) Getting to talk to your stuttering brothers and sisters is so much easier.

Everyone can get in contact with other people who stutter relatively anonymously and safely in a chatroom, email or forum. You do not need to go to a strange room, in a strange part of town, meeting people that you have never seen before, and so on.