NLP Helpful for Stuttering?

I received an inquiry via my site, asking for help with Stuttering:

"I want to know if the "Irresistible Voice" cd-set will help me to cure my mild stuttering.  When I am calm I can barely stutter, but when I start to get nervous, my voice starts to tremble and my stutter gets worse. If you have any other type of method for people who stutter, please let me know. Thank you!"

I should also mention this particular challenge was illustrated vividly in the wonderful recent movie "The King's Speech."  The mindset behind the main speech therapist character's approach, could easily be said to reflect an NLP approach to changework.

Can NLP Cure Stuttering?

First of all, in many states in the USA, NLP Practitioners can't say they'll be able to "cure" anything, especially when it comes to conditions that are governed over or regulated by the medical industry or mental health field, where doctors or psychologists etc are licensed by their states to practice those arts and treat those "conditions."  That said, NLP can help people to learn unique ways to solve their own problems, and NLP Practitioners can help people learn and practice those skills.

So now that you understand the word "Cure" is a hot-button word, I can safely say I neither treat stuttering, nor cure it, nor does NLP cure stuttering. But I most definitely can "help stutterers to reduce or eliminate their own stuttering challenges" through a variety of means:

How can NLP Help Stutterers Speak Smoothly?

  • Learn more emotional state control/management.  NLP is a great approach to this.  Stuttering often causes nervousness which in many stutterers, worsens the effect.  Learning to manage and control your emotions will diminish and potentially eliminate this complication.
  • Google "Milton Erickson stuttering rhythm".  Granted, what you find from one month to the next may vary.  But essentially, if you do sufficient research, you'll find that Milton Erickson used the training of rhythm to teach certain stutterers how not to stutter.  One of the reference patterns here is that the vast majority of stutterers do not stutter when they sing, but may when they speak.  So if you teach a stutterer to rhythmically sing what they say to people, they interrupt the stutter pattern, and no longer stutter.  Erickson would recommend that someone tap a pencil or pen on their thigh when they speak, so that they learn to keep rhythm as they speak, and speak rhythmically.  Get yourself a metronome, or use an online metronome website.  There are several.
  • Google "stuttering biofeedback".  More recent research has found that for at least some stutterers, the neurology behind stuttering involves a defect in the auditory feedback loop, possibly involving how sounds transmit and echo through the skull.  There are a growing set of biofeedback systems involving changing delays on speech fed back to a speaker's ears, and more, designed to find what helps a stutterer, speak more evenly and clearly.  Some of these can produce seemingly miraculous or instant results in some people.  And I do have a variety of speech feedback systems, though there are also many on the market I do not own.

The important thing to remember is that no one solution is guaranteed to work for anyone.  We recommend you keep experimenting, think outside the box, and look for unique ways to wire around the problem, and build new neural pathways!

What about my "Irresistible Voice" Audio Program?

Regarding my "Irresistible Voice" Audio Program, that's not designed intentionally to help with stuttering, and I would expect no direct improvement with stuttering from this audio program. However, it may still be a useful program for you (read on).

That audio program is designed to improve the overall sound quality of your vocal speaking instrument, to teach the use of a number of persuasive speech patterns, and to improve your rhythm of speaking (which can have a very positive indirect effect on stuttering).

So there could be indirect or secondary improvement in stuttering as a result of improved rhythm while speaking, and as a result of greater confidence in how you sound after using my exercises (that seems a reasonable possibility). A better voice would help you stay calmer, longer. Obviously from your comments, your stuttering is related to your emotional state, so staying calmer longer would be good!

However I would not make a firm guarantee or promise of specific gains with stuttering from just this audio program. I do like people to know what they can definitely expect from my materials. If it helps, I have had fewer than 5 "returns" out of over 4000 copies of this set sold as of April 2011. So I do know that my customers have been very happy with this program.

I hope that helps you!


- Jonathan

Author: Jonathan Altfeld