What We Believe About Blocking & Stuttering
How Are We Able To Assist Life-Long PWS In Gaining Fluency?
I have a simple theory: If one can speak fluently in any context, that person can learn to speak fluently in all contexts? They obviously already know how to talk. They don’t need to re-learn how to talk. They just need to be able to access the same state of mind that they are in when they are speaking fluently to those times when they block.
From all of our research and experience with people who suffered from blocking and stuttering and who are now fluent, we now recognize several key factors that explain why it is possible and why it is possible for you.
- Blocking and stuttering are learned behaviors.
- Learned behaviors can be unlearned.
- If you can speak fluently in even one context, you can speak fluently in any context. You already have the skill; it’s just a matter of breaking free from the interferences.
As you can probably already tell, we believe it is one’s thinking that creates the blocking and stuttering. We do not believe that if a person is fluent consistently in certain situations and blocks in others that the problem is physical and certainly not genetic. It is a very well learned behavior come from childhood hurts and reinforced through years of practice.
Below you will see the various thought patterns of a person who formerly blocked and stuttered. Her thoughts are typical of people who block and stutter. From the graphic, you will see the learned patterns of thought (frames of mind) that operated in those contexts where she blocked and stuttered. Does any of those frames of mind sound familiar?
Mental Frames of Mind of a Former Person Who Blocked and Stuttered
By changing some of the key meaning frames of mind, this person has gained complete fluency. We have seen it happen over and over.
From our experience with blocking/stuttering, we believe that:
- If you speak fluently in just one context, you can learn to speak fluently in all contexts.
- We base this on the fact that if you can speak fluently in any one context, then that means that your mind-body system already knows how to speak fluently.
- We believe that blocking/stuttering happens in particular contexts triggered by specific events that the individual has placed significant meanings of fear and/or anxiety. From these basic meanings, the Person Who Blocks and Stutters define their concept of their own selfhood.They also will determine how they view themselves as being a resourceful person or not based on these meanings of fear and anxiety. Furthermore, whether or not they have a healthy or unhealthy concept with their past, their present and their future (time) comes out of these significant meanings. In addition, how they relate to others; whether or not they view their world as a friendly or unfriendly place and their understanding of their purpose and intentions in life all come out of and are determined by the meanings first placed on the triggering events.
- We call this the Matrix Model and this book is organized based on: (1) the meanings we give both internal and external events, (2) our concept of self, (3) our sense of power/resourcefulness, (4) our relationship with time, (5) our relationship with others, (6) how we view the world we live in and (7) our higher purposes/intentions. These 7 matrices determine our world. We all have our own Matrix. The Matrix defines all of our thinking/feeling/behaving and thus determines our lives. People who block and stutter have a unique identifiable Matrix. In this book we will define how people who block and stutter think/ feel/ behave in each Matrix. Michael Hall utilized the term “matrix” from mathematics to describe the framework of our mind and then used the metaphor of the movie The Matrix. I am very much indebted to him for this excellent model.
- Blocking/stuttering is primarily a learned behavior.
- Since it is a learned behavior, it can be unlearned.
- Blocking/stuttering is very similar to if not the same as, a panic or anxiety attack expressing itself in the muscles that control breathing and/or speaking. A person diagnosed as having panic attacks does not live every moment of every day inside a panic attack. Likewise, the person who blocks and stutters is not always inside a “block.” Just like a panic attack, a “block” is triggered psychologically. And, just like a panic attack, the person has learned to react to that panic in a particular way and for the person who blocks/stutters, the panic is expressed in blocking and stuttering.
- Treatment involves using the same tools of NLP and Neuro-Semantics® that we have used successfully many times with clients who suffered from anxiety and panic disorders. (NLP means Neuro-Linguistic Programming. These two models, NLP and Neuro-Semantics, provide the technologies behind the materials in this book.)
- Although we recognize that some predispositions, like a predisposition to being sensitive or some other sensitivities, may contribute to a person’s developing a stuttering habit. I do not believe that there is any question but that genetic research indicates that we are predisposed towards certain thought-feeling-emotions. With stuttering, we believe that the emotional issues get expressed in blocking and stuttering and that in turn gets reinforced through experiences like being made fun of, etc.
- Successful treatments, therefore, will involve primarily cognitive and not physical therapies.