Hypnosis for Stuttering

by Shaun Damon

Stuttering is a disorder that not only impairs speech capabilities but can also result in negative psychological effects. People who stutter are often ridiculed and made fun of, so that they suffer from low self-esteem and feel inadequate.

Stuttering is a condition that is most often seen in children during the language, speech, and voice development stage, sometimes this disorder can carry into adulthood. This form of speech impediment can be divided mainly into two categories, these are:

  • Developmental Stuttering: Usually affects children that have no brain damage or underlying causes. Children mostly outgrow this disorder.
  • Neurogenic Stuttering: A fluency disorder that usually occurs after trauma or injury to the brain or the central nervous system. This is mostly seen in adults.
There is no exact cause or proven cure for stuttering, but a combination of various therapies can help decrease the severity of the issue, depending on the underlying factors surrounding the disorder.

More and more people are trying unconventional or alternative means of treatment, in combination with conventional therapies. One such treatment to help decrease stuttering and increase speech fluency is hypnosis. Although there are very few studies done to prove its success rate, many individuals who have undergone hypnotherapy for stuttering have claimed it worked to improve their speech abilities to a large extent.

Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind, and hypnotherapists believe that this particular part of the mind is very powerful, if used appropriately. The therapy for stuttering revolves around these concepts and techniques:

  • Sending subliminal messages to the sub-conscious part of the mind
  • These messages are positive suggestions and affirmations, which are easily absorbed by the individual when in hypnotic state
  • A hypnotherapist will try and dig into your past to find any causes for the stuttering
  • Once the cause has been determined, the therapist will start to work on reducing anxiety, speech therapy instructions, and building confidence using direct suggestions when the individual is under trance
  • The suggestions usually revolve around well-being, confidence, and increasing self esteem
  • Hypnotherapists link these positive messages to a word, a gesture or an object, which could be used later to recreate these positive feelings when they are needed
  • These suggestions given while the patient is under hypnosis are intended for use after hypnosis, hence known as post-hypnotic suggestions
  • They help to promote positive responses, feeling and behaviors in a patient’s day to day life
Hypnosis can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, as well as by itself. The determining factor is severity of the stutter. As per studies done, experts have shown that by inducing deep physical relaxation, reducing stress, and building self-esteem through hypnosis, patients were able to show considerable improvement in their fluency abilities. The general consensus is that hypnosis can help in treating mild stutterers when combined with other building confidence and stress-management techniques, while more severe stutterers may require hypnosis along with intense speech therapy.

Apart from using hypnotherapists, there are also self-hypnosis techniques that claim to reduce stuttering. It comes in the form of a recording which is to be played mainly during bedtime or times when one is least likely to be disturbed. It is designed to work on the subconscious mind by subliminally feeding the brain messages of self-confidence, speech fluency techniques, and induces deep relaxation. It is best to consult your physician or a medical health expert before trying out self hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy is said to help stuttering of all types, and different hypnotherapists make use of different techniques to help patients overcome this disorder.

References
  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/stuttering.html

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