Stuttering Therapy: Working above and below the surface.
The University of Utah Intensive Stuttering Clinic will be described. This clinic has treated approximately 160 people who stutter. The clinic is a 60 hour, two-week, intensive group treatment program that offers a combination of fluency shaping and stuttering management approaches. The presentation will address the relationship between treating “surface” stuttering behaviors (i.e., the actual moments of stuttering) and treating “subsurface” symptoms of stuttering such as anxiety, poor self-confidence, avoidance, etc. First, the basics of applying speech motor therapy will be outlined – specifically, the techniques of prolonged speech, gentle vocal onsets, and reduced articulatory pressure will be detailed. Second, the importance and basic strategies of treating the symptoms of stuttering (anxiety, fear, avoidance, low self-esteem, etc.) will be presented – for example, desensitization, disclosure, and using positive discourse. The discussion will focus on the strengths, weaknesses, and durability of this approach that focuses on both speech motor strategies and also attitudes related to stuttering and speaking.
Professor Blomgren is the Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Utah. He also is the executive director of the U of U Intensive Stuttering Clinic. Dr. Blomgren’s research includes evaluating speech motor control in stuttering and nonstuttering speakers and evaluating stuttering treatment outcomes. Dr. Blomgren has numerous publications and has given over 100 presentations at conferences and meetings in 16 different countries.