Welcome to the SSEP Free Online Course

This course is for people who stammer who are self-motivated and able to study and learn independently. If you are inquisitive; if you like to work things out for yourself; and if you like to experiment with new ideas, it should suit you well.

How is this Online Course different to other courses?

There are three main differences…

1. Unlike most other courses, this online course is designed to help you to develop a deeper understanding of your stammering (stuttering) and the factors that affect it. Consequently, in addition to teaching some powerful fluency-shaping and block-modification techniques, the course also includes a detailed theoretical module entitled “Understanding Stammering”. This theoretical module is every bit as important as the fluency techniques, and to gain maximum benefit from the course, we strongly suggest that you work through it alongside the various therapy modules.

2. We recognize that, in real life speaking situations, there is often a limited window of opportunity to get our messages across, and a certain speed is necessary in order not to miss the window of opportunity. Consequently, the techniques we teach are designed to help you get your messages across as quickly as possible in order to maximize the chances of successful communication.

3. People who stammer often get overwhelmed in real-life speaking situations and find themselves unable to put the techniques they have been taught into practice. Conscious of this problem, the two techniques we teach require a minimum of effort to employ.

Getting Started

How to work through the online course

You can work through this course in your own time, moving forward at a rate that is best suited to you. If there are any bits that you find particularly difficult, you can go over them again and again, to ensure you have properly understood them. If you need extra help or guidance, you are always welcome to email us.

Step 1

Before starting, watch the video below, which gives a flavour of the SSEP’s approach to stammering self-therapy.

Step 2

Having watched the video, if you wish to continue, please now fill in the introductory questionnaire.

Fill in the introductory questionnaire

We rely upon the data from the questionnaires  you complete to track your progress and to highlight any shortcomings in our materials. They are our only means of continuing to improve the course. So please, do fill in the questionnaires as requested. Even if the course completely fails to work for you and you abandon it half way through, your feedback will still help us to improve it so that other people can benefit.

Step 3

Tailor the SSEP Online Course to your personal needs

Although all people who stammer share some core-experiences in common, there are quite substantial differences in the circumstances in which different people’s stammering begins and in the ways it develops over time. As a result of these individual differences, when it comes to therapy and self-help, our needs also differ quite considerably. In order to address these differing needs as effectively as possible, in this online course we start by describing the three most common manifestations of stammering.

Please read through the three descriptions below and decide which one of them most accurately describes your own personal experience of stammering.

Then, follow the guidance provided for that experience – by clicking on the corresponding button.

You produce visible symptoms of stammering almost every time you try to speak. Anyone who hears you speak knows that you stammer. Because of the stammering you find verbal communication difficult and slow.

Although you stammer regularly, you often manage to say things without producing visible symptoms of stammering. Often you are able to keep going by swapping words around and by using various tricks or crutches. You don’t feel any great need to hide the fact that you stammer, but nevertheless, your stammering symptoms sometimes interfere with your ability to communicate and your lack of control over it undermines your confidence.

You don’t stammer often, but you feel very bad about it. The most important thing for you is to hide your stammer. You don’t want people to know that you stammer. Consequently you go to great lengths to avoid producing overt symptom of stammering—either by avoiding speaking certain words, avoiding speaking to certain people, avoiding speaking in certain situations, or even avoiding speaking all together.

New Book!The Perfect Stutter

by Dr. Paul H Brocklehurst (founder of the SSEP)

In this book, Paul discusses his own experiences of stammering and how they affected his life. He then goes on to explore what is currently known about the condition, and he describes in detail the research and experimental findings that led to the development of the SSEP online course.

From the Preface

The journey really began in my early teens, following a number of experiences of the stutter going into remission. Although I relapsed and my symptoms returned, those early experiences impressed upon me the extent to which changes in my beliefs about stuttering appeared to have the capacity to bring about corresponding changes in the stutter itself. As I became aware of this, I started to wonder whether it may be possible to arrive at an understanding of stuttering that would permanently reduce its severity and perhaps even stop it from arising at all.

This book describes my search for that understanding.

I have divided the book into two parts: The first part – which is largely autobiographical – covers my life between the age of fourteen and forty-two. It describes the period during which, despite my efforts, the stutter remained partially out of control, and although its symptoms became substantially less severe, I was nevertheless still afraid of it. This first part ends with a description of how my understanding suddenly changed, and the fear finally relented.

In the second part of the book, I describe how my life changed after the fear had gone. In particular, I focus on my experience of returning to university – first to study speech therapy and then to research stuttering, and I discuss how this study and research deepened my understanding of the disorder and helped me to further consolidate my recovery.

I hope The Perfect Stutter will prove both useful and entertaining to anyone whose life is in some way affected by stuttering, including not only stutterers themselves but also researchers and therapists – and, indeed, anyone who is interested in the wider relationship between the ways we perceive and our ability to communicate.

‘The Perfect Stutter’ is currently available in paperback and e-book formats