Covert Stammering

In many ways covert stammering is the most complex and difficult form of stammering to manage. Most often, people with covert stammering only stammer very mildly and they may go for long periods without producing any visible (or audible) stammering symptoms at all. Consequently, it is relatively easy for them to hide the fact that they sometimes stammer—and this is where much of the problem of covert stammering lies. Having succeeded in hiding the fact that they stammer, covert stammerers frequently find that their lives that are then plagued by the fear of being found out, and they often suffer from significant feelings of guilt, shame, and inadequacy.

Although it is completely understandable that we may want to hide the fact that we sometimes stammer, if we have fallen into this trap of allowing our feelings of self-esteem and self-worth to become dependent on how well we can speak, our self-esteem will be damaged every time we get stuck and our fear of stammering is likely to grow out of all proportion.

If you have fallen into this trap, the best way to climb back out, is to study stammering and to learn about it in as much detail as is possible. By getting to know exactly what it is and how and why it happens, you will develop a firm and clear understanding that stammering is nothing to be ashamed of, you will understand that it is not in any way your fault that you stammer, and that, indeed, it is perfectly OK and natural to stammer mildly. Indeed, studies show that mild stammerers are sometimes better communicators than people who don’t stammer. The quickest way to arrive at this understanding is by working your way through the Cognitive Therapy & Mindfulness module and Understanding Stammering module. Having started to work your way through these modules, it is then a good idea to start the Jump module and learn to employ the Jump. Doing so will ensure that, on the occasions when you do get stuck on a sound or word, your stammering doesn’t hold you up for too long and doesn’t prevent you from continuing to move forward and therefore doesn’t elicit negative responses from your listeners.

Generally people with covert stammering do not need to learn or practice Orchestral Speech or any fluency-shaping techniques as most covert stammerers have already learned enough tricks and crutches to enable them to remain fluent if they need to.

In summary, if your stammering is characterized by covert symptoms, we suggest working through the practical modules of the course in this order…

1. Mindfulness & Cognitive Therapy Module & Understanding Stammering Module

2. The Jump

Before starting we suggest that you download the Stammering Checklist. You can access the modules and the checklist directly from the buttons below.

It is a good idea to print the checklist out so you can use it to keep track of what you have covered as you work through the course.

You can work through the 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 get stuck, if you can’t understand something, or if you find that one or other of the techniques is not working for you, please do email us to explain what the problem is. It may well be that we have failed to explain something adequately. If so, your feedback will help us to remove any ambiguity or confusion in the text. Whatever the problem, we will do our best to help. Depending on how practical it is (in terms of time and numbers of people requesting help), we may be able to discuss some issues directly with you, over Skype or Zoom. But we cannot guarantee that this will always be possible.


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