The Haven Healing Centre Approach to Stammering by Phil Chave
A treatment for stammering that is so easy, you can learn it yourself, while you sleep
This site is for the many thousands of adults, and teenagers, and children who stammer.
Nobody knows what causes stammering. Stammering could have many causes, or it could have just one cause. But, if just one cause turns out to be true, even now, after centuries of study, the definitive cause is still unknown. I think that the idea of multiple causes of stammering is more likely. Why? Because it seems to be one of a number of coping strategies for the body which in this instance manifests as a stammer.
There can be many causes of blood poisoning in the body; a ripped nail, a stab wound, a thorn scratch, a rusty nail, smashed glass, an animal bite, an infected wound, any of which can come from multiple points of entry of poison into the blood steam, but can all cause toxicity in the blood. So too a stammer can have many causes, such as trauma, learned behaviour, genes, or a multitude of other points of origin, with stammering being the physical end result.
Maybe the point is not to understand where a stammer originates, though I accept that this is often a very good starting point for any therapy, but perhaps the best way forward is to treat the stammer symptomatically. This is where I came from with my approach to stammering, and for the most part it has been very successful.
The King's Speech. The number of stammering referrals recently has grown considerably and I'm sure this has been the result of the film, The King's Speech. Stammerers who once had all hope taken away by doctors, speech therapists, and medical professionals, who would continually establish, and then reinforce the belief that a stammer was forever, there was no cure, created hopelessness in the patient, and a huge slice of scepticism at anyone who said they had help to offer.
During the film, you see the true story of George VI, the reluctant, stammering king, almost cured of his disability by the maverick Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue (who it turns out, wasn't a truely qualified speech therapist at all, but worked symptomatically with the King's condition).
Once you accept that, 'nobody can help me', you're doomed. No matter what you do, you will always be looking for the fall, never the success, so what's the point of trying? The fact is this; the more determined you are to do something, the more likely you will succeed!
The King's Speech is a fascinating film. You can order it by clicking on the film (right).
I'm not offering a cure, and also I'm not a speech therapist. What I want to offer you is, CONTROL over your stammer. Step by step ideas and strategies that have been shown to work in practice and when grouped together, create a formidible treatment plan, that is a controlled, symptomatic approach to stammer relief. Something you do yourself, in your own time, at your own pace, and in your own way.
Are you one of the stammerers who feels they have tried everything else and wants to do their own thing; be their own therapist? The first thing to do is make the absolute, wholehearted decision to change the way you talk. No ifs, no buts. Every thought, every moment, every cell and bone in your body must want to change. Its no holds barred in the effort to conquer your stammer.
Self doubt, anxiety, anger, a sense of hopelessness and negative thinking are the deadliest enemy of successful stammering self-therapy. So have the courage to be positive and enthusiastic in your endeavours, and prove to yourself just how effective self-therapy can be.
This CD set is not being promoted as a miracle cure for stammering, indeed some of the people I have tried this system on have taken as long as 20 weeks to get a result. But it is set out in a way that is a logical sequence of self help over time, easy to do, and empowering to you as the stammerer. Never try to force change; this will lead to stress and anxiety. Take your time, build on your strengths and you will make it in the end. You will recall how, for any stammerer, anxiety is your biggest enemy. So learn to gain control over your stammer induced anxiety first, and then gain control over your stammer.
Actually, the truth is: You can already talk without stammering. You do it now, you've always done it, and you always will! Just think. You can probably think of a time when you talked to yourself without stammering. You don't stammer when you talk in your mind, and you probably don't stammer in your dreams, unless you are in a scary, or anxious state, or having a nightmare. Many stammerers don't stammer when they sing, shout, swear loudly or when talking during laughter.
Most stammerers have periods of fluency, which proves there is a 'cause' somewhere, even if you don't know what it is. In fact, because you may be sometimes 'distracted' away from stammering, it is likely/possible something to do with how you 'feel' at the time. Most experts can't agree on a definite cause, and the same experts also agree there is no infallible cure, despite years of research. So essentially that means the best therapy is going to be self-therapy.
However, even if you don't have a known cause, it's likely you can think of what makes your stammer worse, when it affects you the most. For most people, their stammer accelerator will be during times of stress or anxiety, during conversation, or confrontation, on the phone, making decisions; the list can be mighty long.
Eventually, this amounts to learned behaviour, which becomes embedded into your unconscious mind as a survival mechanism. Once your unconscious mind discovers a strategy that works, it becomes a habit and a behaviour of choice. So anytime you become anxious, or find yourself in a stressful situation, your unconscious mind looks at its memory banks to find a pattern match that got you through the similar situation. It does this in a fraction of a second, and you find yourself repeating old behaviours, because that's what worked for you before. If the learned behaviour is a stammer, that's what you do.... you stammer.
When stammering makes you more anxious, or the fear of stammering makes you anxious, the unconscious mind doesn't look to do something else, some new untested behaviour. It redoubles its efforts to stammer more and more, or to make the stammer more and more intense. This is the basis of addiction, survival behaviour, the basis of OCD and other obsessional conditions.
This alone tells us that stammering therapy MUST be a do-it-yourself therapy. Because if, for the most part, you've done this to yourself, then it is reasonable to suppose, whichever method of treatment/therapy you choose, your stammer recovery will be up to you. It should be further recognized that stammerers are different in very many ways. Not only in the conditions under which they stammer, but in the manner of their stammer. However, the common thread is usually a deep desire to lose their stammer, and since we have established that anxiety is a mighty, if not THE most important contributor to a stammer, it makes sense to address this part of your stammer first.
If you have read this far it is likely you, or someone close to you, is still looking for a solution to a stammering problem.