We were 5 people at this meeting. One new attendee, a student of Speech Language Pathology at Temple with a lot of interest on stuttering, and the rest of us were regular attendees.
We discussed the results of Jim Mancinelli’s research on the effects of disclosure on the person who stutters. A lot of us participated in the study and we received a summary of Jim’s findings. The results were surprising because they revealed that disclosure doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on the fluency or comfort level of the person that stutters. This is interesting because there have been other studies on the effect of disclosure on the listener that reveal that the listener is much more at ease after learning that the person talking to him/her is a person who stutters. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case for the person doing the disclosure.
We talked about how much stuttering has marked our lives, which is different for each person. For some, it has had a great impact, from choosing a career where talking would be minimum, to removing ourselves from social situations. For others, it has been something that has challenged us and motivated us to do new things and not let it stand in our way to do what we wanted to do.
We talked about acting and stuttering and how it seems that taking on a new personality helps a lot of people to be more fluent. We drifted into talking about anticipating success. Rather than being afraid of failure, focus on the positive side of each experience, which is that at the end of a bloc, we are finally able to say what we want. Don’t focus on how long it took you to get here or how bad it felt, but just focus on the fact that you got through it and were able to say the words. Anticipating success instead of dreading failure gives you more confidence and can result on more fluency and reduce the feelings of embarrassment.