Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dr Martin Schwartz's Training Course for People who Stutter now available for free!

Dr Martin Schwartz has been so generous as to make his 2008 DVD-based Self-therapy Course for People who Stutter available to the general public for free, and it gives me great pleasure to present the course here on my blog. Much thanks to Dr Schwartz for this great gesture.

The course consists of three videos plus a manual and a workbook. Note that Dr Schwartz also highly recommends that you acquire the MotivAider, an electronic appliance that will remind you to use your speech technique. 

Video 1, titled The Understanding, explains why people stutter. What we see and hear as "stuttering", is merely struggle behaviour resulting from the vocal cords that have "locked" due to excessive tension on the cords. Here is video 1: (If you have a mobile phone or tablet, or have problems in viewing the video, watch it on YouTube HERE )

But what can we do about this vocal-cord lock? Video 2 is all about treating the cord lock, not the stutter itself. When we reduce the tension on the vocal cords, we lower the possibility that they will lock (and cause a stutter). In video 2, the Slowed First Syllable technique is explained - the first of various techniques to reduce pre-speech tension on the vocal cords. Herewith video 2: (View it HERE on YouTube if you have a mobile appliance or are unable to open the video.)  

In the third video, Dr Schwartz discusses another powerful technique to reduce vocal-cord tension: the Passive Airflow Technique: (View it HERE on YouTube if you have a mobile appliance or are otherwise unable to open the video.)

The really excellent manual will be found HERE.  It should be downloaded for study as it contains a lot of important information for people who stutter. And click here for the workbook which should also be downloaded, as it contains various "homework" exercises to which Dr Schwartz refers to in the videos.  

Do read and study the manual carefully! An understanding of stuttering is actually part of the treatment - knowing how stuttering occurs makes it easier to deal with it. 

Note that though this is basically a self-help programme, it is strongly recommended that you get a "monitor" - a therapist / friend / spouse / significant other / parent etc. to assist you with the various exercises. Better still, try to combine this with joining a stuttering support group in your area, and do the exercises as part of their meetings. 

I attended two Schwartz workshops in the 1980s, joined the support group which was formed afterwards, and have been helped much by them. It's not a miracle cure though and will require time, work and dedication - but I believe this is the best available. If you intend to do the course, I wish you well! For any questions, join the Passive Airflow Facebook group which you will find here. 

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