Dr Paul Brocklehurst speaks about mindfulness and stuttering on a recent episode of StutterTalk. I’ve written about Paul before as he’s written a helpful introduction to mindfulness and stuttering (here) and runs the Stammering Self Empowerment Programme.
I’ve been having an unusually difficult week with my stuttering. For all my attempts for be mindful of my stuttering and how I’m feeling while it’s going on, it has gotten to me a lot more than usual. I think I have built up a certain amount of resilience and acceptance – enough to keep my normal level of stuttering in perspective – but when my speech goes through a rough patch I don’t (yet) have enough of these things to keep level-headed and not feel negative about it.
I just listened to this recent episode of StutterTalk about ‘Working Through a Stuttering Rut’ and found it really helpful. One of the hosts on this episode had a really nice way of describing the way being in a bad block can distract you by making you feel less present / taking you outside yourself. She talks about feeling like you’re “zooming out” and then “zooming back in”. That is exactly it, and it’s really hard to stay mindful of what’s going on and keep your thoughts and feelings in check with all that zooming out and in! Well worth a listen:
I came across an excellent episode of Stuttertalk where Michael P. Boyle (speech and language pathologist and person who stutters) talks mindfulness and stuttering:
People who stutter ‘have challenges keeping up with their fluency strategies or their speech modification techniques, it’s very difficult to be able to transfer that to everyday life and it requires a lot of vigilance and monitoring… to use the techniques taught in speech therapy. So I think mindfulness can help us train our attention and expand our capacity to pay attention… and that’s very relevant for using certain speech modification techniques.’