Exploring the Therapy Experience of Adults Who Stutter as it Relates to Inclusion of Cognitive Therapy Components in Stuttering Therapy
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In understanding the complexity of the experience of adults who stutter, it is essential to acknowledge that stuttering is present regardless of whether or not disfluencies are produced. Many adults who stutter often experience underlying anxiety, social avoidance, and depression related to their stuttering. Current therapy for adults who stutter relies on speech restructuring techniques alone and fails to provide adults who stutter with the opportunity to address the cognitive and affective components of stuttering, something valued by adults who stutter. Utilizing the principles of cognitive therapy approaches used in counseling psychology, such as Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), to address these cognitive and affective components of stuttering has been explored in therapy for adults who stutter, but the research-base is limited. This study worked to add to the limited research base surrounding the use of ACT and or CBT in therapy for AWS by further exploring the impact of inclusion of cognitive therapy components on the therapy experience of adults who stutter. Four adults who stutter participated in this survey-based study examining their experience with stuttering and stuttering therapy. Data obtained from survey dissemination were interpreted as four individual case vignettes. Trends in the data presented in each of the four individual case vignettes suggest that adults who stutter reporting involvement in ACT and or CBT experience a lower impact of stuttering on quality of life, low application of the stigma associated with stuttering, and high therapy satisfaction as it relates to knowledge gained about stuttering. Despite limitations due to the small sample size, these trends are consistent with the limited research base supporting the use of ACT and or CBT in therapy for adults who stutter. The promise found in the results of this study suggests a need to explore further this critical area of research that explores therapy techniques valued by adults who stutter.
Acceptance and commitment therapy
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