Hypnotherapy for Stuttering


Can hypnotherapy really assist those who suffer from stuttering? Can it work on people who suffer from fear of speech and anxiety disorders?

Commonly, Stammering causes an individual to concurrently repeat a portion of the word (like b-b-b-book) or extend a particular syllable of a work for too long (like boo-oo-ook). It cannot be wholly categorized as a psychological problem alone. Over the year, many speech therapists have researched about its cause, using modelling tools and have come to the conclusion that it may have its root in some neuromotor dysfunction in early childhood. But you also have to take into account the fact that stammering in most people is not consistent – it varies depending on the situation, company and the state of mind.

National Stuttering Association

Experts are divided as to the root cause of stuttering. However, researchers point out the varieties of factors at play like

  • Genetic Make-up: There is almost a 60% chance of you to stammer if any of your immediate family members suffer from it.
  • Differences in Brain Structure: The seat of stammering is actually located in a particular section of the brain and its neural network is a bit different.
  • Other Speech Challenges: It is often seen that stuttering follows another speech problem, especially among children.
  • A speed of Talking: If someone has a very high speech rate, he or she is likely to stammer.

Many find stuttering to get worse when they are anxious, excited or under pressure. Another interesting point to note is that they experience no such problem when they are alone (say talking to their pets) or singing. This clearly indicates that cognition has a major role to play when you stutter and it might just as well be an indication of a form of panic attack or an outward physical expression of an emotional state. Naturally its treatment plan should include hypnotherapy in order to include these cognitive issues.

There are many famous people from different fields who are stammering.

Below is just a fragment of the list of well-known stammers.

Stammering Actors, singers & entertainers

Marc Anthony — Pop vocalist, twice Grammy and three times Latin Grammy award laureate. More than 12 million recordings sold worldwide.

Emily Blunt  Award-winning actress – Golden Globe 2006.

Leon Botstein —Director and conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Wayne Brady — the host of Let’s Make a Deal show.

Nicholas Brendon — actor in TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Garret Dillahunt — He featured in the movie “The Last House on the Left” and has performed in various TV shows: “The X-Files”, “NYPD Blue”, and “ER.”

Robert Donat — Oscar winner for Best Actor in movie Mr.Chips.

Noel Gallagher — the famous soloist, lead guitarist, lyricist, and co-vocalist for the British group Oasis.

Samuel L. Jackson — An award-winning actor known for his movies Goodfellas, Jungle Fever, Patriot Games, Jurassic Park, and Pulp Fiction.

Nicole Kidman — this well-known actress is recognized for her recitals in Rabbit Hole. Dead Calm, To Die For, Eyes Wide Shot, The Hours, Batman Forever, and

B.B. King — African-American blues guitarist, soloist, and composer. Recognized by Rolling Stone publication as third-greatest all Time guitarist in the world.

Elvis Presley — This king of rock-n-roll, vocalist and actor -one of the most prevalent idols of the 20th century.

Sports stars – stammers

Perico Fernandez — Boxer – the winner of WBC Light Welterweight finals.

Lester Hayes — The former defensive back for the LA Raiders led the NFL with 13 interceptions and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 1980. He retired in 1986, after a total of 39 interceptions.

Bo Jackson —multi-sport athlete accomplished his bachelor degree in 1995.

Gordie Lane — a hockey defenseman for the New York Islanders.

Bob Love — This legendary star of the Chicago Bulls.

Dave Taylor — hockey star with the LA Kings.

Jermain Taylor — During his amateur boxing career, he earned the 1996 Under-19

Stuttering Writers, authors, producers, composers, and artists

Lewis Carroll — This British writer’s – the author of “The Hunting of the Snark “, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, “Through the Looking Glass”,  and  “Jabberwocky”.

Charles Darwin — This English scientist is best known for the evolution theory and his book The Origin of Species.

Edward Hoagland — The famed writer, author of “Walking in the Dead Diamond River”, “Cat Man”, “The Tugman’s Passage”. , African Calliope, and

Alan Rabinowitz — biologist, zoologist, environmentalist.

John Updike — modern American writer, author of “Rabbit at Rest”,  “Rabbit Run”, “Rabbit is Rich”, “Rabbit Redux”, and “Rabbit Remembered”.

Andrew Lloyd Webber — very famous British composer, author of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Cats”, “Evita and “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Stammering Government leaders & public officials

Prince Albert of Monaco — H.S.H. Prince Albert, Alexandre, Louis, Pierre, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, was born on 14 March 1958.

Vice President Joseph Biden — as the present Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden is obligatory to communicate in public at important meetings and happenings. Vice President Biden has fought with a stammer all the way through his life.

Winston Churchill — former British prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and then for a second time from 1951 until 1955. He is recognized a strong debater and speaker.

King George VI — this king was a stimulus to the whole country when he made a public speech in radio broadcasts during World War 2.

Annie Glenn — spouse of the astronaut John Glenn

Congressman Frank Wolf — This congressman from Virginia who served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981.

Treating Stuttering:

If your halting speech worries you, it is very important that you seek medical help. Doctors would advise you to undergo certain physical, speech and auditory tests to determine any physical causes. Once you get a diagnosis, you physician can walk you through various treatment options.

Frequently suggested a course of action is a language and speech therapy session. A therapist usually specialises in treating these problems and you be able to help you with it. In each of the sessions, he or she would try to understand the root cause and in what exact area you have a difficulty (like articulation or fluency). Next, a treatment plan would be drawn up for you and depending on the nature of stammering, you would be given a number of speech exercises to practice regularly. This is to improve the fluency of your speech by deliberately slowing down its rate. Over a course of few months, you gradually adopt these techniques and they become a part of your speaking pattern.

Treating Stuttering with hypnotherapy:

You might need to overcome any underlying self-esteem or anxiety issues in order to get rid of stammering completely. Hypnotherapy provides an effective way to do that. It essentially helps you to relax and facilitate easier communication. Hypnotherapy mainly works with your subconscious mind and helps you to have a positive behavior, feeling and approach in your day to day life. You are trained to use the left hemisphere of your brain (the seat of logic and speech) to a larger extent so that your words are in tune with what your mind says.

The therapy for stammering mainly includes the following techniques:

  • Sending stimuli to the sub-conscious part of the brain.
  • These messages are usually positive suggestions that are absorbed by the mind in a hypnotic state.
  • The therapist may also look into your past to pinpoint the causes of stammering.
  • Once the therapist pinpoints the cause, he/she would aim to use speech therapy to reduce anxiety and boost confidence directly or when the patient is in a hypnotic trance.
  • Hypnotherapists usually link messages of confidence, well-being and self-esteem to a series of words, certain gestures and objects, which the patients can emulate later to recreate these positive vibes as per their requirements. These suggestions are therefore called post-hypnotic suggestions.

Hypnotherapy has proven to be extremely helpful to address triggers and psychological causes over the years. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatment option to yield incredible outcomes. The areas where it has been successfully applied include:

Anxiety: People tend to become self-conscious when they stutter, which can lead to unnecessary anxiety because of the feeling that whatever they have, is wrong. This is more evident in children who are often subjected to teasing by their peers. This actually makes the situation worse. Hypnotherapy looks to reduce this fear and anxiety. It is often seen that when the worry is removed, speech becomes fluent.

Reduced Self-Worth: Just like anxiety, stammering in children and adult can lead to low self-esteem arising from the feeling that they are not as good as the others or being told repetitively that what they do is not right. Hypnotherapy can address this issue by imbibing more positive chain of thoughts.

Events from the Past: By hypnotherapy you can ascertain if your stammering is a result of a particular event from your past and consequently resolve them. This works especially well if the event relates to a particular person or a place.

Stress: You can minimise the stress with effective use of hypnotherapy as it puts you in a complete state of relaxation. When you are in this subconscious state, your therapist can send subliminal messages to use relaxation as an antidote to stress. This calms you down and brings down your stutter.

Triggers: If you are anxious about one particular situation, your therapist can induce newer reactions and techniques that would enable you to remain calm, and make you confident and relaxed. This should ease your stuttering.

Just like any form of therapy, hypnotherapy is not an overnight process. It takes a time to ascertain the techniques that work best for you. It might be also helpful to work with your speech therapist in conjunction with your hypnotherapy session to yield the best result.

Dr. Tsan has extended experience in the treatment of stuttering using different techniques of hypnotherapy along with natural and herbal medicines that promote significant relaxation of the patient and prevent an individual from spasmodic actions during a speech.

To make an appointment for the initial free consultation with Dr Tsan visit our “Book Appointment” page.