I’ve been talking a lot about control lately. It’s a really important subject when it comes to treating stuttering. Learning how to speak without control is really not very difficult to do. The process of speaking automatically is not complicated. There is so much less to do and think about than when creating stuttered speech. The speech is flowing and expressive. But the hardest thing for clients to do is to accept that speaking fluently requires giving up control.
For some people who stutter control has become so intertwined with talking that to give it up seems very strange. They believe that it is normal to think of what words you are going to say and how to form the sounds. They can’t imagine not doing that when they talk (even though they don’t do it when they are talking to themselves). Other people use control as a crutch. They know how to speak without control, but they are afraid to let go.
Actually the more people try not to stutter, the more control they exert over their speech. That is why chasing fluency has always been a no win battle. When people who stutter give up their fear of stuttering and any negative feelings that they have toward themselves because they stutter, they are often more open to giving up control. Speaking fluently requires using the normal automatic processes of producing speech. Giving up control is essential.