People Who Stutter and People Who Fear to Speak

In my practice I work to help a lot of different people, but I’ve noticed an interesting—and rather startling—similarity between two kinds of clients.

The first set of clients is people who stutter. People who stutter need a voice. They need support. They need an ear. People who stutter may want to learn tools to help manage their stuttering. People who stutter never take for granted the words that come out of their mouth.

Now juxtapose that group with people who can speak but refuse to speak in public because of fear. This fear isn’t very different from the fear that the person who stutters feels every single day of their life.

On one hand, I am working with those who struggle with the mechanics of making their mouth and brain get together to create meaningful speech. They desperately desire to speak but speech eludes them. By not being able to speak, thoughts, feelings, and needs often go unexpressed.

On the other hand, those who can talk, don’t. They let a strong emotion (fear) hold them back from becoming all they can be.

In my blended practice of speech pathology and corporate business communications, I find both groups fascinating and challenging. But there are no easy answers. Both groups have something worthy to say and want to find a way to share their knowledge.

They just want to do it without fear.