Mindfulness and Stuttering Barry Guitar University of Vermont
History of Mindfulness in Stuttering Therapy Wendell Johnson: “Don’t try to avoid stuttering” Dean Williams: “Stay in the present. Feel what you’re doing. “ Charles Van Riper: “Become highly aware of the movements of your mouth.”
Current Concepts of Mindfullness & Stuttering Silverman (2012): Begin with mindfulness meditation a. Focus of attention on breathing b. Just be neutrally aware of natural breathing c. When distracting thoughts & emotions arise, observe them non-judgementally and bring attention back to breathing
2. Gradually become more mindful in daily life as you continue mindfulness meditation a. Become non-judgmentally aware of thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and movement b. Become aware of thoughts and emotions that are associated with stuttering—before, during, and after stuttering.
3. Work on “Shenpa” as part of mindfulness. a. Shenpa is when you experience something “BAD” and you tighten up and try to run away from it. b. Working on Shenpa means staying with the negative experience and emotion. c. Working on the Shenpa of stuttering means staying with the experience of stuttering and the emotions that arise.
Scott Palasik (2013) Combines Mindfulness with “Acceptance & Commitment Therapy” Employs the “being in the present” and the “acceptance” parts of mindfulness Warns against too much attention on the moment of stuttering, but instead be sure to Let Go of the Shame after the stuttering. Uses this approach with individuals of all ages who stutter
My own observations Mindfulness meditation is best as a daily practice Meditation provides an experience of feeling time slow down. Enhances sense of calmness Transfers to speaking in daily life (when you are mindful) of welcoming an opportunity to stutter so that you can observe it and work with feelings and behaviors associated with it.
AnbefaltLesing Palasik, S., Hannan, Jamie (2013). The Clinical Applications of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Clients Who Stutter. SIG4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders. November 2013, Vol 23, 54-69. Silverman, E.M. (2012). Mindfulness and Stuttering: Using Eastern Strategies to Speak with Greater Ease. North Charleston S.C.: CreateSpace