Separating the Problem and the Person: Insights From Narrative Therapy With People Who Stutter

The authors describe the use of narrative therapy, focusing on the stories that clients tell about the problems associated with stuttering that they have encountered in their lives. Narrative therapy uses these stories to understand, analyze, and address aspects of emotional and cognitive aspects of stuttering. The authors note that in this form of therapy, the therapist helps the client deconstruct unhelpful, but widely held, discourses about people who stutter. Externalization is a core process in narrative therapy, involving the separation of the problem from the person. This process is an initial step in the re-authoring of the person’s narrative. The process is explained and illustrated with details from therapy with an adult who stutters.

Ryan, Fiona; O’Dwyer, Mary; Leahy, Margaret M. (2015). Separating the Problem and the Person: Insights From Narrative Therapy With People Who Stutter. Topics in Language Disorders, 35, 267-274.

About rickyWburk

Ricky W. Burk, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is a speech-language pathologist who provides in-home therapy for adolescents and adults residing in Tennessee and Mississippi who stutter. His career includes PreK, elementary, middle, and high school practice, undergraduate & graduate faculty appointments, skilled nursing, national & international consultation, private practice, and national & international speaking presentations. He holds the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, and he is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. He is the ASHA Continuing Education Administrator for the National Association for Speech Fluency.
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