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My Top Resources

SPEECH THERAPY AT CITY LIT (www.citylit.ac.uk/stammeringtherapy), A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN ADULT STAMMERING THERAPY, WAS RECENTLY AWARDED THE PRESTIGIOUS QUEENS ANNIVERSARY PRIZE. STUDENTS AND THERAPISTS DESCRIBE WHAT MAKES THIS SERVICE SO SPECIAL.
1. Carolyn Cheasman, City Lit therapist I feel lucky to work for an organisation which, despite limited budgets, has the imagination to understand the value of supporting myself and my colleagues in attending training courses and conferences. For example, two of us attended a weeks training at The American Institute of Stuttering in New York and as a result we have radically altered our stammering therapy intensive course. Although we do make significant financial contributions to our own training as budgets are tight, we have always been supported in terms of time off to attend events. We have also had fortnightly nonmanagerial supervision for many years with an external supervisor. 2. Jan Logan, City Lit therapist Offering stammering therapy in an educational setting fits well with my philosophy about stammering, what it is and what might help, and has provided a context where the students have become my biggest resource. Therapy is based on a partnership model with the person who stammers bringing a wealth of experience about stammering to therapy. Students are seen as active learners with shared responsibility for therapy / learning. This is in line with the general philosophy of adult education which is about student-centred learning and empowering learners. Group-work is a positive choice enabling students to support, learn from and provide positive role models for each other. I have met and worked with many people who stammer they have been my teachers and I continue to learn from them. 3. Rachel Everard, City Lit therapist Its rewarding and stimulating to be able to offer training to qualified speech and language therapists throughout the UK and beyond on a range of topics. The topics are very varied and include adult stammering therapy together with more generic subjects such as counselling skills, supporting the process of change, group work, assertiveness, setting up supervision networks and, the most recent addition to our repertoire, Mindfulness meditation for speech and language therapists. Its exciting to share with our colleagues our knowledge and experience and to learn from them. We involve our clients in our training courses on adult stammering therapy and thats often a highlight for everyone involved. 4. Sam Simpson, speech and language therapist I have attended four courses at City Lit, all instrumental in shaping my work with adults with acquired neurological difficulties following stroke and traumatic brain injury, as well as adults who stammer. Working with Adults who Stammer embraced the practical application of theory in a dynamic group environment. Counselling Skills addressed areas not included in my undergraduate training such as facilitating the transition from doing to being with clients and valuing listening and witnessing of personal narratives rather than solving problems. The Group and I Theory, Process and Dynamic enabled me to develop my theoretical knowledge of working with groups, to become more attentive in managing the process as well as the task and to reflect on me in the group situation. Most recently Mindfulness based practice for SLTs confirmed the Lits unique group based learning approach fosters a personal journey of exploration and discovery that parallels and underpins a professional one. It offers a safe, supportive, yet challenging environment where I have gained insight, knowledge and inspiration. 5. Paul Harris, student (Stammering therapy: an integrated approach) I attended an integrated speech therapy course in 2007 and learnt speech-management techniques alongside a fluency-shaping technique (Vocal Fold Management). This made a positive impact on my speech. Daily use of VFM led to increased fluency - as a result my confidence increased. I use VFM at work, particularly in meetings and using the phone. Although still a novice using VFM I feel a sense of liberation when breathing correctly and speaking fluently. I am becoming less sensitive about using VFM and now use it less consciously. Practice is essential and occasionally I forget to use VFM. As a result of increased fluency the world feels a better place. Stammering is a lot about fear VFM as a resource greatly reduced my fear. 6. Blanche Keaveney, student (Interiorised stammering) The interiorised stammering course at City Lit made a huge impact on my life. I have stammered ever since I can remember and went to great lengths to conceal it. The interiorised course enabled me to confront it for the first time. By so doing it has freed me from the fear I felt about my stammer. With the support of the therapist and other students, I was able to move from a place of shame to being able to talk about stammering openly. For me the outcomes of therapy are freedom from fear and shame, and emotional and intellectual growth. I now wonder why I lived for 57 years like that I feel I have had two lives really: pre and post City Lit. 7. Jamal Muse, student (Block modification) Attending the Intensive Block Modification course has been one of the best decisions I have made. The course provided a holistic approach to stammering, not only focusing on the stammer itself but also the psychological baggage most, if not all, people who stammer experience. The Block Modification techniques proved indispensable in moments of stammering, allowing me to break free out of a stammer with ease. The thing that made the biggest difference was the desensitisation I received to stammering. There is absolutely nothing wrong with

Peter Davies (City Lit Principal), Jan Logan, Carolyn Cheasman and Rachel Everard with the Queens Anniversary Prize

stammering, so I neednt feel embarrassed or ashamed! City Lit advocated voluntary stammering which, paradoxically, made me feel at ease and comfortable and I thus experienced a heightened level of fluency. 8. Joanna Puzey, student (Block modification) One of the most important aspects for me about the course I attended at City Lit was being in a group with other people who stammer. Sharing thoughts and feelings and allowing myself to stammer openly with other people who stammer was an invaluable part of the therapy progress. It was definitely worth travelling all the way from Weymouth to attend this block modification course. I feel strongly that had it not been for this therapy I would have carried on hiding my stammer and feeling miserable about it. 9. Danny Smith, student (Block modification and Communication skills for people with learning difficulties who stammer) I like my course because Ill be able to talk to my group of my people, speaking about my speech therapy. But it really helped me to speak slowly and clearly.I learned eye contact: when I speak I look at the person, and that helps me to be more assertive.It really helped change my speech - it will be useful, cause Ill be able to get people to understand me a bit more. The best bit - I actually liked talking games to help your speech.We had to hold an object and each person had to hold it, one person to talk. We had to think about our names, and each person who got their own name, they had to do a bit of miming, and each person said my favourite food and my name being called Danny, to describe my favourite food.So we had to pretend to eat it!That is funny! 10. Flora Swartland, student (Mindfulness meditation for people who stammer) Having attended an interiorised stammering course, I didnt want to end the process so I signed up for mindful meditation. I started with little expectation, just a willingness to learn and open-mindedness. I felt the benefit quickly. While cycling home, I was much more sensitive and aware to details around me, such as the light, movement of trees and an overall calmness. A clich perhaps, but a small awakening which made me feel happy. And it helped with my stammer. It helps me be more aware of my emotions, which play a large part in a persons stammer, and to be more in the here and now when Im ruminating over an embarrassing stammer that day or worrying about an event tomorrow. I sit quietly, focus on my breath and put things into perspective. Most of all it helps me slow down, stay calm and gives me a place to return to if Im feeling tense about my speech. Its a simple technique I can use any time or place.