The ProgramHere's What We'll Work On
Stuttering is a multi-faceted issue, and an effective solution for one person may not be an effective solution for another. Stuttering has a unique way of coloring the stutterers life, sometimes mildly, sometimes profoundly. My approach is to treat stuttering as, primarily, an issue with imbalances in brain chemistry. The aim is to get at the root of stuttering to allow all of the secondary behaviors and psychology relax, allowing people who stutter to not only find some relief from stuttering but also find a greater overall sense of balance and equanimity.
It Starts with Brain Chemistry
In a nutshell, my belief is that for a lot of stutters, the underlying driving factor is one of brain chemistry. Specifically, an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain which cause levels of agitation and less-than-efficient motor and language coordination in the brain. This extra burden on the brain, I believe, causes speech disfluency to increase.
The Three Levers
When talking about working with your brain chemistry, specifically to try and balance it, it has been my experience that the effects of brain chemistry imbalance (e.g. mood disturbance, annoyance, intolerance, lethargy, apathy, etc.) can primarily be influenced by modifying three different variables. These are nutrition, psychology, and behavior.
Although it’s more complex than just going on a diet, nutrition has a direct effect on many brain chemistry imbalances. Roughly speaking, your nutrition (the food you eat and the supplements you take) provide the raw material for your neurotransmitters. The key is to find a balance that supports your unique system. Too much of something can be just as bad, and actualy have similar symptoms, to not enough. We work to find a place of balance, where your unique bodily systems are supported to optimize for ideal brain chemistry.
I don’t mean therapy, I mean the overall psychological tenor of day to day life. Not that “thinking positively” is a cure-all, but being negative all the time certainly doesn’t help anything. It can be easy to feel victimized, shunned, broken, etc. when dealing with something like a stutter, and often a shift in attitude, perspective, and thinking can be incredibly helpful.
In sort of a chicken/egg paradox, our brain chemistry has a profound ability to influence our behavior, and vice versa. Often, we can improve our brain chemistry by changing our behavior, and with more balanced brain chemistry, we find our behavior changes naturally. Often, it is behavior/action that holds the key to our issues with brain chemistry, and it is important to balance behavior with the other elements that influence brain chemistry (nutrition and psychology).
But Aren’t There Prescriptions that Do This Now?
Yes, and if that is a route you would like to pursue, I would highly recommend that you talk to your doctor about it. It seems that about every six months I read about a new clinical trial of a drug aimed at treating stuttering through altering brain chemistry. This is an amazing time for stuttering research and there are more options than ever for stutterers. My approach is a more natural one, focused on supporting natural processes (rather than modifying the processes themselves). I’m not wild about the side-effects uptake-inhibitors have, and I believe their overall efficacy is over-estimated, but that is just my opinion. I created this program for those who want a more natural, self-directed approach. For those who want a pharmaceutical solution, those options are readily available as well. What matters is that people choose what works best for them.
How We’ll Work Together
Our work together will be structured on finding the correct brain chemistry balance for you (through natural means). We’ll start off with explaining the program in more detail to you as well as answering questions. From there, we’ll work together to support your own unique brain chemistry. Simultaneously, we will also work on secondary factors influencing stuttering, like stress reduction, for example. We will continue to work together for a time to find a solution that works for you that you can manage and maintain (and tweak as your needs change). My goal is to get you totally self-suffcient in 4-6 sessions.
Not a Forever Program
My goal is to get those with whom I work independent as quickly as possible. It doesn’t do either of us any good to create dependance. What I am interested in is working with people, one-on-one, to design a specific program for them that they can maintain, augment, and evolve on their own, over time. What I aim for is to have clients ready to be on their own within about 4-6 sessions. Since what we do is so targeted, it doesn’t take forever to learn, or even master. You’ll find what works for you, you’ll investigate why it works for you, and you will use your new understanding to design the specific course of action that uniquely fits you. I am happy to work with people as long as they need, but it is my goal to get people independant, with full agency over their stuttering management, as quickly as possible.
How Do The Sessions Work?
Sessions are held over Skype, either via video/voice or via instant-message chat. I understand that not all stutterers are comfortable talking on a camera for nearly an hour. That’s just fine, and for those folks, a text-based conversation works great. Each session is 50 minutes. I offer a free, 30-minute consult before beginning any sessions so that I can answer all of your questions and explain what we will be doing, and what we will aim to achieve, in more detail.
How Fast Can I Expect Results?
The focus of this work is to create positive results for people. Not everyone’s stuttering is 100% brain chemistry based, and while some stutterers may find nearly 100% stuttering reduction (this is the case with me), for others, the effects might be more mild. We’ll only know if we try, which is why working one-on-one is so important. Every stutterer is a unique individual and we will work together to find how to make this work for you as effectively as possible. That being said, if your issue is brain-chemistry-related, you should notice a difference pretty quickly. Typically, within a week or so. And, since these methods are all natural, if you find they do not work for you, you can stop anytime without any side-effects.
What Are the Risks?
Since this program is mucking about with brain chemistry, it can be dangerous. Granted, working with brain chemistry naturally is about the most mild approach one can take, there still are risks, especially if someone is already taking anti-depressants or anti-psychotic (or any other psycho-active) drugs. Following the approach I recommend takes a fair amount of guidance and instruction up-front, as well as self-education on the part of the client. I can help give advice as to what might be effective, but it is up to each client to explore and test their own solutions. I am here as a guide, but everyone is an individual, and one-size-fits-all-solutions can create more harm than good. It has taken me years (and a lot of personal research) to really get to a point where I feel like I know what is going on, which is why I feel one-on-one support and guidance is so important. I really don’t want people to try this stuff just randomly on their own without understanding exactly what they are doing, what they are trying to fix, and how the pieces of everything they are doing fit together. The beauty of this approach, though, is that since everything we do is natural, it can be discontinued with no ill-effects, immediately. Different people react to different things, and if supplementation does not work, or causes adverse reactions, we can look at other means to achieve the same goal. Since we approach the solution from multiple angles, we can switch approaches to find the exact program that works best for someone.
Want to Learn More?
Feel free to contact me with any questions you have.