My Story Into Working With PWS
If you can speak fluently in just one context, you can learn to speak fluently in all contexts.
I did not plan to work with people who block and stutter. Indeed, it happened quite by accident. I have been working in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) since 1991. In 1996 my colleague, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D., and I started developing a model called Neuro-Semantics (NS). Our work in this model came out of our experience in NLP and is an advancement of that model. As an NLP/NS practitioner, I have worked with hundreds of clients covering approximately three thousand hours of therapy. Working with fears, anxiety and phobias have been a major component of my work.
Some years ago, a seminar practitioner asked me if I could help people who stutter. I told him that I didn’t know but I sure would be glad to give it a try. His son, a 25 or 26 year old came in for a two hour session. After one hour’s work we discovered that behind his blocking and stuttering were some fears of speaking that rooted in childhood. Once he realized that he was mentally causing the stutter, he thanked me, paid me and left. Though we had two hours scheduled, we finished in one hour. As far as I know, he gained complete fluency. The key for him was his understanding that he was mentally causing the stuttering and it wasn’t something physical and out of his control.
Excited about the results, I wrote up a case study of the therapy and sent it to Michael. He utilized his expertise and expanded the case study into an article entitled “Meta-Stating Stuttering”.
After posting the article, a friend of mind that I had worked with early in my practice contacted me. He had a stutter that we worked on but it hadn’t helped him. After reading the article he called me and asked me if I had learned some new things. I told him that I sure had and for him to come on in. He came for a one hour session. I saw him six months later and asked him how he was doing with the stuttering. He paused briefly and replied, “I guess I have forgotten to stutter.” “Well,” I said, “That sure is a great thing to forget to do.
Needless to say, I was quite elated with the outcome. Then, in the spring of 2002, the breakthrough came. Linda of Indiana e-mailed me. In her search to overcome her stuttering, she had read a work by Anthony Robbins at the recommendation of John Harrison. From Anthony Robbins she learned about NLP. She searched Amazon.com for NLP books and found mind and Michael’s book, The User’s Manual for the Brain. From that work she obtained my email address and emailed me asking me if I could assist her. In just a few therapy sessions on the phone and some emails, Linda gained complete fluency. Wow, was I ever excited.
Linda and I wrote an article entitled “From Stuttering to Stability: A Case Study” John Harrison published the article in the National Stuttering Association newsletter, Letting Go and I posted it on our web site here.
This article really got a lot of attention. Since then I have worked with several people who block and stutter. One of the people that I assisted to fluency was Tim Mackesey, SLP. Can you imagine the excitement I had in being able to assist a speech pathologist who had blocked and stuttered most of his life to fluency? I was elated. Tim integrates NLP/NS heavily into therapy with all appropriate clients. Tim’s office is near Atlanta Georgia. His web site is: www.stuttering-specialist.com.
Let me say up front, all have not attained fluency but many have. Importantly, out of all the people I have worked with, I have total confidence that ultimately all of them have the capacity to eventually attain fluency. This will necessitate their continuing working on their thinking.