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Shanna Lichtman, Marie R. Kerins, Ed.D.

The Effects of Counseling in Addition to Speech Therapy for Individuals Who Stutter

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Stuttering is a communication disorder that is classified by an unintentional repetition of sounds, syllables, or words and prolongations of sounds or silence that result in a breakdown of speech (Saltuklaroglu & Kalinowski, 2011). There are often emotional factors, such as stress and anxiety, that exist with individuals who stutter. Although widely studied, it is unclear whether stress causes stuttering or if stress is a result of stuttering. Regardless, the emotional consequences that are correlated with stuttering can affect individuals’ quality of life, mental health, and relationships (Craig, Blumgart, & Trana, 2011). As a result, according to Ortega and Ambrose (2010) stress management and relaxation techniques are often incorporated into treatment therapy. The problem is, it is these emotional factors can diminish a person’s ability to benefit from speech therapy. Therefore, this study intends to answer the following question: Are individuals who stutter and receive counseling in addition to speech therapy more successful in using fluency techniques than individuals who receive speech therapy only?

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