Rasha had gone through all kinds of different speech therapy in her country. Here family had spent lot’s of money over the years on her, trying to help her get over this stuttering thing. But, for some reason she could not lick it. She was not afraid to answer the phone sometimes, go shopping, go to job interviews, all because she knew she would freeze up and not be able say anything. I started to work with Rasha intensively several days a week via Skype. The first thing we had to do was get a clear understanding of what we were actually working toward as a goal for her. Was it to “stop stuttering” or was it to learn to speak well? I impressed upon her as firmly as I could that my goal for her was not to get her to stop stuttering. It was to teach her how to become an excellent speaker. I would teach her techniques that she could use to start speaking more smoothly, fluently and confidently. Our focus would be forward and on speaking and not backward on stuttering, the kind of speech she wanted to leave behind.
Here speaking habits were so ingrained that it took us almost six months to really see lasting results. Now, she began to see results during the first couple of months. But, they were transient. They would come and go. To be sure, after about six weeks she had made major improvements in a couple of key areas, but, she still had a long ways to go. She worked hard, kept at it until eventually she found herself feeling more in control over her speech. Answering the phone, going shopping, conversing with friends, and family become easier and easier. Going to interviews, her final objective also become easier as well. What had changed? What was different from when I first met her until now? Her focus, her goal. That’s what had changed.
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