How is it that you can speak
fluently in some contexts and not speak fluently in other contexts?
That most People Who
Stutter (PWS) can speak fluently in certain contexts indicates
that they have two primary speaking strategies that they have
learned: 1) They can speak fluently which means they know how to
talk. 2) Given the right circumstances, they also have a
speaking strategy for blocking.
What determines whether or not the PWS speaks
freely and fluently or whether they block? We believe that
it is the meaning that the PWS gives to the context of
where they are speaking. If the context is non-threatening
to them, the strategy for speaking freely and fluently will
be activated and they will speak fluently. On-the-other-hand, if
the context is threatening to the person, then the
blocking strategy will be activated and the person will start
The cause: There could be several
causes for blocking including genetic predispositions and/or
developmental problems. However, our concern is not
primarily about the first cause of blocking. Our concern is with
what has continued the behavior. We believe that it is
the meanings placed around those early experiences of
struggling to speak that have become well learned which
continues the behavior. This explains how most children grow out
of stuttering while some don't - it is about the
meanings that the child placed around the behavior. The
question then becomes: was it "OK" for the child to stutter some
or was it pointed out as unacceptable behavior? Click on the
link "How It Works" for many
articles depicting our beliefs about blocking as well as those
Some Questions to Consider:
If you were not fearful of
looking like a fool or being vulnerable because of your blocking and stuttering,
how would that affect your blocking and stuttering?
If you had a healthy view of
yourself as an innate person of worth in spite of how you speak, how would that
affect your blocking and stuttering?
If you felt in control of your
speech all the time as you do when you are fluent, how would that affect your
blocking and stuttering?
If you were able to rid
yourself of the belief "I have always blocked and stuttered in certain contexts
which means that I always will," what would happen to your blocking and
If you were not fearful of the
judgments of other people about how you speak, what would happen to your
blocking and stuttering?
If you viewed the world you
live in as a warm, inviting, friendly and supportive place rather than a place
to be feared and to always be on your guard about, how would that affect your
blocking and stuttering.