Stammering with mild overt symptoms

If your stammering symptoms are mild, probably you can often say exactly what you want without getting stuck. Nevertheless, there may be certain words, people, or speaking situations that tend to trigger your stammering, and because these words, people, and speaking situations are relatively predictable, you may have developed the habit of avoiding them.

Because most of the time you are able to speak without stammering, as a mild stammerer you probably will not want to employ a technique every time you speak, and it is not necessary to do so. Instead, it will benefit you greatly—and greatly reduce your fear of stammering—if you just learn a technique to get you moving forward again whenever you find that you have got stuck. The technique we teach which will enable you to do this is called the Jump.

The Jump is a block-modification technique, which you can only employ after you get stuck. So, in order to be able to employ the Jump you have to first of all allow yourself to stammer and to get stuck. Then, as soon as you have got stuck, you can employ the Jump to get started again.

In theory, the Jump is the easiest technique of all to employ, because it just involves missing out the sound or word you are stuck on—essentially, you just jump over the sounds you can’t say and carry on with the ones you can say.

In practice, employing the Jump can be a little more difficult than that, because most of us have developed a strong habit of going back and trying over and over again to say the sounds we can’t say until we feel like we’ve said them well enough. So it may take a bit of perseverance to develop the habit of keeping on moving forward regardless. But once you’ve developed that habit of keeping moving forward it can quickly become your normal way of speaking, and it starts to feel completely natural. Indeed, it is not really a “technique” it’s just a normal carefree way of speaking. People who don’t stammer regularly jump over sounds, especially when they are talking quickly, and most of the time their listeners understand them perfectly well. Indeed, most of the time their listeners don’t even notice that they’ve jumped over a sound or two.

Although the Jump works really well in the majority of speaking situations, there will be some times and situation where it doesn’t work well enough. The most common such situation is when you jump over a sound you are stuck on and your listener then fails to understand what you have said. So having learned how to Jump, you will also need to have a back-up method for those times when it doesn’t work. There are lots of back-up methods you can use at such times—the most straightforward involve repeating the problem phrase using the fluency shaping technique that we teach called “Orchestral Speech”.

Alongside learning to employ the Jump and Orchestral Speech, right from the start it will be useful for you to start working your way through the Understanding Stammering module—because the more you understand about stammering the less you will fear it and the more empowered you will be to deal with any difficulties that may arise.

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

1. The Jump

2. Orchestral Speech

3. Integrating Orchestral Speech and the Jump 

4. Mindfulness & Cognitive Therapy

In addition to (alongside) these 4 modules, we suggest that you also work your way through as much of the Understanding Stammering Module as you can.

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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