Neuro-Semantics of Stuttering

In my last couple of posts, I have spoken about the psychological side of stuttering/stammering, and how our fear of speaking anxiety, is largely as a result of the perceived consequence of speaking with dysfluent speech. I spoke about some of the typical destructive and fear of speaking anxiety provoking consequences, that we can conjure up in our mind. This type of thinking has been referred to by some as “stinking thinking”.

nlp Thinking this way is not resourceful to us. It is guaranteed to make us stutter worse, because of the consequence that we place on being dysfluent, in these situations. For example, “if I stutter in this job interview I will definitely not get the job because everyone hates stuttering people”. If you layer that with further negative thinking like, “ if I cannot get a job I will have no income”, and then continue to add to that further layers like, “if I have no income I might become homeless”, “if I am homeless I may not have any food”, “if I have no food I will die”. Now obviously we are not conscious of layering these thoughts onto thoughts, but we certainly do it subconsciously, and in a fraction of a second. If we do not recognise, and accept, that many of our fears, subconsciously layer themselves back to the “fear of death”, we will not understand why there is such fear and anxiety, associated with having some trouble in getting words out of our mouth, and into the other person’s head. We are born with an innate belief, which is often confirmed through our childhood experiences, that those who are “obviously flawed” in some way, are often singled out and marginalised, or “sacrificed” in some way by the group. So there is a deep fear there within every human being, of being seen to be “different” when we know we are otherwise. Such thoughts, if allowed to run rampant in your head, can lead to panic attacks, or at the least, a constant high level of anxiety, and can totally control the direction in which your life progresses. Can all fear be traced back to the fear of death? At the deepest layered level “YES”. This is a key understanding that you must have, if you are to alter your innate and reflex thinking, about situations where you are allowing the consequence of your dysfluent speech, to determine your anxiety level. You must learn to intervene at the base thought, so that increasingly toxic thoughts, do not escalate the consequences of dysfluent speech to the point where they send your speech spiralling out of control and into uncontrolled avoidance, shame, embarrassment and panic, which ultimately leads to ever increasing levels of stuttering.

If we accept that creating negative consequences, of dysfluent speech, are leading to higher anxiety, and that these consequences, are as a result of our own thoughts and feelings, and that we can change these thoughts and feelings, then we can start to look for ways to make these changes.

So how can this be achieved? There are various methods that have been, and are used, to train people, not only people who stutter, to look at the validity of their thoughts and feelings.

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