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If a young individual undergoes the treatment process without any intentional interruption, it may take about six months of sufficient effort to reach the "maintenance" stage. The treatment path, which appears quite smooth and easy for those without speech impediments, presents challenges for individuals with stuttering. The roots of these challenges must be explored within the individual's mental attitudes, which, in turn, have their origins in immature perspectives and criteria. Some of these attitudes are as follows:
As the human mind often focuses on its weaknesses and views everything from that perspective, a young individual with a stutter sees both themselves and the world around them through the lens of speech difficulties and capabilities. In their view, the worst and most undesirable weaknesses revolve around speech impediments. On the other hand, a "champion" is someone who possesses fluent, eloquent, loud, and attention-grabbing speech in any situation, capable of overpowering a group with their words. Such a standard creates deeper conflicts for the person, as it contradicts the treatment path that, in reality, requires acceptance and understanding rather than confrontation.
Therefore, in individuals with stuttering, the locus of control has shifted from internal to external. Instead of being driven by internal desires and willpower, their actions or behaviors often respond to external stimuli. The mental reaction or mindset of compensation, retaliation, and substitution is a reactive response stemming from defense mechanisms, which can deviate us from the path of treatment. For instance, when a young individual in the process of improvement relies on money, authority, or education, it signifies a shift towards showcasing their abilities rather than genuinely progressing on the treatment path. In such a situation, a therapist should make the individual aware of this deviation and guide them back to the main treatment path. Without a guide, it may seem impossible to successfully navigate the treatment journey.
In the treatment process, it is essential not to allow the individual, whether a
child or an adult, to exploit their stuttering. For example, a twelve-year-old boy
who claimed, "I have the bike in my stutter," explained the situation as follows:
Son: Dad, I want a bicycle.
Father: It's dangerous. Let's wait until you get a little older, and then I'll buy
one for you.
Son: Two, two, two bicycles.
Father: Don't talk like that anymore.
Son: M-m-m... t-t-t...
Mother: Alright, my dear, we'll buy it for you, but promise to speak well from
In this way, he had learned to achieve his desires using this weapon, in other words, stuttering can sometimes be perceived as useful. People ask the person with a stutter to make a purchase, and he says, 'I have a stutter.' They ask him to call a plumber, and he says, 'He has a stutter.' Moreover, he has even sought exemption from military service due to his stutter. Stuttering cannot be both harmful and useful. With this contradiction, a consistent criterion cannot bring the treatment path to a conclusion.
Sometimes, a patient who has achieved relative competence may seek revenge against those who, in their view, mocked or made them feel uncomfortable— for example, in specific situations involving them. However, this revenge does not extend to verbal abuse or mockery; instead, it represents a bold act of triumph and pleasure over someone who has always been on the defensive and suffered defeat. Usually, humans exhibit resistance to change and breaking habits. This resistance may occasionally manifest as silent suffering or temporary resentment towards their coach or therapist. But as the treatment journey continues, they will become the most committed member of the group.
We mentioned that humans exhibit resistance to change. One of the defense mechanisms that reflect this resistance is the following statement: "I can't change; I will change the therapy group instead." These individuals, with great energy and imaginative planning, attempt to alter the treatment path through forming friendships within the group. They seek a path where no personal transformation or change in perspective can take place. It is the responsibility of the stuttering coach or therapist to recognize such behaviors promptly and guide the person back to their treatment path
Sometimes, a person gets caught up in a "competitive mindset" where the belief is that whoever speaks faster is the winner, whoever takes charge is superior, whoever talks more is better, and so on. This competitiveness indicates that the treatment journey is not yet complete (even if their speech has become very fluent and natural), and their restless mind has not reached its destination.
read moreStuttering Treatment
The young person who stutters may lack experience in the realm of love, or
their relational experiences might be very weak and underdeveloped due to
unresolved emotional issues and immaturity. After acquiring relative
competencies, they may mistake the emotions they feel towards the opposite
gender for love or, at times, engage in courtship without the intention of
marriage, solely to test themselves or prove something. In this context, their
competencies can be likened to "a sword in the hand of an intoxicated
Such behaviors indicate that the individual's unaddressed criteria and perspectives (resentments, grudges, vengeful thoughts) hinder their proper utilization of their acquired abilities. Instead of continuing on the path of treatment, they seek to satisfy suppressed desires from their past.
Many patients, shortly after beginning their treatment journey, experience
significant improvements in their visible stuttering. This ability, achieved
through a sense of liberation from the constraints of stuttering and the
excitement of progress, may not endure due to the presence of untreated
psychological stuttering. After a while, it tends to relapse. In this situation,
many specialists believe that "the best improvements come after some
A young patient with no prior experience in this domain may perceive their progress as solely dependent on treatment. When they experience setbacks, it can lead to frustration and discouragement. Therefore, when a patient makes remarkable progress in a short period, the therapist must prepare them for the ups and downs of the subsequent stages to prevent them from experiencing undesired emotions
Usually, incorrect beliefs about "self-confidence" and its relation to stuttering
are transmitted to individuals who stutter and their families through various
books and media. Many stuttering specialists talk about increasing selfconfidence in their patients. The different definitions of self-confidence, which
have fundamental differences, indicate the unknown nature of self-confidence.
Therefore, it can be said that everyone can have their own specific
interpretation of self-confidence. Despite this, the concept of self-confidence
has taken on a particular meaning among people: "self-confidence" is seen as
an ability, power, or capability that can be acquired, leading to a happy and
competent life. For example, when they say, "That person has a lot of selfconfidence," it evokes the idea that the individual is capable, courageous,
happy, and in control of their life.
It should be noted that the attributes we associate with the term "selfconfidence" are actually hidden in the "level of a person's ability to perform a specific task." In other words, the more competent a person becomes in performing a task, the more successful they will be in it.
Therefore, instead of chasing empty words like "self-confidence," one should increase their skills and abilities in the desired task. However, we have been indoctrinated with the notion of "self-confidence" since childhood to such an extent that we can't fully grasp the taboo surrounding it.