Below please find my mindbody treatment principles for stuttering that seem to help people in the "Stuttering as a mindbody disorder" Facebook group:
A healing programme to deal with TMS stuttering - Version 1.5 August 2017 - (For the latest version of this document, visit the Facebook group "Stuttering as a mindbody disorder" ) © Peter Louw
Join one of the Google Hangouts for people who stutter.
Join a support / self-help group in your area for people who stutter. If such a group does not exist in your area, consider creating one yourself.
Enlist as many people as possible in your efforts – family members, friends, colleagues. Discuss stuttering with them, explain it and let them know what you are doing and how they can assist.
A great deal of stuttering – the actual word / sound repetitions, struggle behaviours etc., but not the vocal-cord locking – has been conditioned (learned). In other words, it has become a habit. All kinds of things may trigger stuttering, such as a particular situation, person or type of person, particular sounds or words etc. But … this can be unlearned. Check out the book Unlearn Your Pain, by Dr Howard Schubiner MD, for more information (it's about chronic pain, but is also applicable to stuttering).·
For many people this is a "two steps forward, one step backward" process. Again, note that adults who have stuttered for decades can't expect a quick miracle cure. The muscles of the vocal cords are fine structures that are easily overwhelmed by the tensions engendered by the central nervous system. And … subconscious change takes time. Also, relapses may occur as the mind tries to return to the old state of affairs. There probably will be setbacks, and the devious subconscious may try to convince you that your case is hopeless … don't be deceived! The subconscious mind is full of tricks. Just continue with your focus on exposing those repressed emotions. Don't let these relapses discourage you – actually they are a sign of progress! They demonstrate that the subconscious mind has taken note of your fluency improvement, and is trying desperately to regain the territory it has lost.
The subconscious defense mechanism, in its efforts to maintain its power, may create NEW mindbody symptoms to replace the stutter. Dr Sarno calls them "symptoms imperative". Examples are skin rashes (that's what I'm getting lol), unexplained muscle pains, stomach upsets etc. Their purpose is to again distract your attention away from your current focus on your repressed emotions, toward your body – in the same way that stuttering distracts you away from the mind. "Symptoms imperative", too, are actually signs that you are making progress! You've got the TMS on the run, and it is desperately trying to find a new seat from which it can cause mischief. Continue to "think psychologically" about your stuttering – but if your replacement symptoms are severe, rather take a step back and halt your fluency efforts until your subconscious mind has adjusted to the progress made.
Do LOTS of relaxation exercises and stress management. The TMS self-therapy, which you are busy with, is aimed at changing the subconscious, and subconscious change can be really stressful. Read this chapter of my book on how to deal with change.
If you feel that it is all overwhelming and getting too much, or if you are getting panic attacks and feel anxious, simply stop it all and take a step backward – watch a movie, do something relaxing, forget about TMS and healing. The periods of anxiety should be temporary. When you feel more at ease, you can return to journalling or whatever you do to reduce TMS symptoms.
If you are making no progress at all even after months of working on this, you may want some external support from a TMS practitioner. About one out of five TMS patients may need this extra attention. Many of these TMS practitioners work via Skype or Google Hangouts, so not having one of them in your area is not an obstacle. Look out for them on the internet.
On Youtube and elsewhere on the web you will find lots of great videos and treatment programmes for TMS. Check out all the videos by or featuring Dr John Sarno MD and / or Dr Howard Schubiner MD and / or Dr David Schechter MD or any other TMS practitioner. They are usually about chronic pain, but simply treat them as if they address chronic stuttering. Eg. have a look at the excellent FREE videos on this site.