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  • Lori Melnitsky

Stuttering is fight or flight… We need to change our inner voice….

Put on those boxing gloves.  Time to push that word out at any cost and fight to the end.  I hear the words in my head.  Just let me push out that word.   I want to win and fight. Ultimately I lost more times than not. Many times I avoided eye contact, put my head down in shame and avoided. It is time to flee.  This lead to years of trying to hide my precious thoughts and not be heard.

Stuttering therapy without un peeling the emotional  is not productive.  Stuttering therapy for older children and adults must address fight or flight. Stuttering therapy must unite our childhood inner voice to the message we want to produce.

What is fight or flight?

“The fight-or-flight response (also called hyper arousal or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” ( It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon.)

People who stutter often are afraid to hear them speak. Years of  being laughed at, interrupted, people finishing sentences anot being able to say our own name play a huge role in confidence in talking. Stuttering is a fight to produce words and flight is our response to avoid talking.  Believe it or not many times I have chosen to fight.  Speech is a spontaneous act and I wanted to be heard.

What do we do?

Change the message. Talk to yourself. Positive affirmations and praise yourself.  Adults are not praised enough. What can you say?

I am enough.

I can do this.

I will do this.

I can beat my inner demons.

My message matters.

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