More than 30 years ago I began conducting Talkpower: A Panic Clinic For Public Speaking. Very early on I observed a radical change in one of the public speaking students who came to the workshop with a stutter. When he participated in the Talkpower concentration exercises with the rest of the class he spoke fluently in a very natural manner as if he never had a stuttering problem. The change was so dramatic and in such contrast to his previous stuttering when he first introduced himself that I can still recall the gasp made by the entire class when he suddenly spoke fluently and well. Whenever this student practiced with the original Talkpower exercises he was again able to express himself with naturally fluent speech. Since this Talkpower workshop was designed for professionals who had a serious fear of public speaking and was a new and original Mind/ Body program based upon my years of directing and training actors, in concentration skills as the Artistic Director of the Dove Theatre Company in St Peters Church in New York City I was intrigued. At that time I had no experience or knowledge about stuttering. And so I began investigating this unusual turn of events, looking for people who stuttered and were willing to try the Talkpower concentration exercises. The results were consistently positive. After several sessions, the previously stuttering participants were able to speak fluently and also of great importance their speech was automatic and natural, without any signs of robotic speech or monotonous tone. Based upon my findings I introduced a Stutter That Stutter program into my Talkpower curriculum. In the years that followed I developed the Stop That Stutter Workshop into a systematic step by step program, of concentration enhancement exercises, drills, and routines, formatted into 4 one hour sessions plus daily homework .conveniently available internationally to people who stutter on Skype. This became a model for the Stop That Stutter training program, transforming the speech of the stuttering clients into easy, natural and fluent speech within a 4 week period: fluent speech that would become permanent. Of course, there were the occasional individuals who did not respond to the program, and those unwilling to do the homework. However, 95 percent of the many stutterers who participated in the “ Stop That Stutter” Program experienced dramatic relief, some even within the very first session. Now students could look forward to a future of visibility and possible leadership forever changed from” the silent behind the scenes” role they previously played. The Stop That Stutter One on One training sessions with me Natalie H. Rogers are conveniently available internationally on Skype.
WHAT IS THIS NEW BEHAVIOR?
New behavior includes thinking and speaking calmly in conversation and on the phone, the elimination of tension in the face, tics and head jerks, the absence of robotic speech or monotonous tone the ease of pronouncing certain words and letters that previously caused the stutterer to have a rapid-fire attack of stuttering, a minimum of anxiety, a new sense of self-esteem, enhanced concentration and primarily the permanent ability to think and speak automatically, with natural speech fluency. The skills responsible for this new behavior is accomplished through the individualized one on one training sessions with Ms. Rogers as well as the simple daily homework assignments during the 4 week training period
STOP THAT STUTTER VERSUS THE STANDARD APPROACH
Because of the high visibility of the stutterers' impairment, people who stutter experience extreme levels of frustration and anxiety when wanting to speak. As a result, the automatic stuttering is extremely difficult to treat with standard methods that offer forced and isolated solutions in an attempt to correct the stutter. Standard methods include trying to eliminate the stutter directly by working on the stutter, manipulation of the throat, the tongue, the lips and the jaw, repetition of sounds, breath control, diet, daily medication, relaxation training, hypnosis, training programs that are too difficult to manage in the real world, and even the sale of fluency devices that are worn in the ear and on the head. Often these treatments result in unnatural and robotic speech and a monotonous tone.
In addition, Standard remedies leave the stutterer forever alert and on the edge of his seat, fearful of possible slips which causes private tension with friends, family and at work. Also, when there is progress, the stuttering may eventually return. In my opinion, Standard solutions are not up to the task of dealing with the essence and complexity of this problem.
Furthermore, as I have previously mentioned the high visibility of the stuttering impairment does not allow the talking therapeutic modalities to be effective in restoring fluent speech. In contrast, the Talkpower Stop That Stutter methodology includes a systematic training program of original step by step hands-on intensive concentration exercises, drills, and repetitive routines that restores fluent speech and does not focus upon the stutter at all. Instead, the point of interest goes to the source of the problem. That is the place in the brain where the fearful and terrifying unconscious thoughts that trigger the stuttering originates. A response that research tells us may be a reaction to overactive stress exposure in early childhood.
There is thought to be followed by speech. In other words, It appears that stuttering is caused by the rapid and confusing tangle around the stutterer's impulse to express his thoughts by speaking, and the terrifyingly frightening messages that linger in his unconscious. This disparity results in automatic stuttering behavior. The success of the Stutter No More program lies in how the intense concentration exercises induce the brain to react by creating a shift of attention away from these frightening thoughts to a state of deep inner calm so that thoughts and speech can work harmoniously to produce an orderly balance, expressed in the form of natural and fluent speech.
This unique approach is totally different from the various Standard methodologies that deal with the stutter directly or focus upon the different parts of the body. The restoration of fluent speech is not accomplished by focusing upon and mechanically manipulating the automatic stuttering behavior but rather with a technology that affects and changes the brain wiring exactly in the place of the brain where the fearful and terrifying unconscious thoughts that trigger the automatic stuttering originates. As the weeks of practice proceed just as one learns to forever play the piano or ride a bicycle fluent speech becomes progressively integrated into muscle memory and the stutterer's original fluent speech is restored, becoming natural and permanent. I refer to the restoration of natural and fluent speech because in my experience most of the stutterers I have worked with began stuttering about the age of six years or so after they were speaking fluently
HOW IT CAME ABOUT
I developed these Programs by spending a great deal of time and years thinking about, and observing people who stutter and asking the question ”Why do some people stutter and what can be done about it.?” Research tells us that stuttering is a post-traumatic reaction to overactive stress exposure in early childhood. Unfortunately as a therapist, I had to admit that therapeutic intervention is not at all effective for restoring fluent speech.
Synthesizing and systematizing my experience as the Artistic Director of the Dove Theatre Company in St. Peters Church in New York City, my training as a Method Actress and acting teacher, my Clinical experience as a Behavioral Psychotherapist MSW,CSW, my professional experience as the founder of Talkpower: A Panic Clinic For Public Speaking, training thousands of Talkpower participants over a 30 year period, my experience as a longtime Yoga practitioner, and my passion to observe and imagine new ways to respond to previously insoluble problems with my intuitive and creative ability I developed the Talkpower Stutter No More Program.
nd so although my first book Talkpower”: How To Speak Without Fear
“Dodd Mead “1982 Was aimed at professionals who had a fear of public speaking, it seems to have been based upon the very same Neuro Scientific methodology that works so successfully for people who stutter when they participate in the Stutter No More Program.
My next book, Talkpower: The Mind-Body Way To Speak Without Fear Capital Books 2000, published in twelve languages Includes recent developments
How then do the original Natalie H. Rogers Stop That Stutter training exercises work to reduce and eliminate all aspects of mild to severe long term stuttering in conversation as well as on the phone in such a short period?
To be more specific, I theorize that Memory Centers of the brain may have responded to the Talkpower training intense concentration exercises and the other drills and routines, by becoming infused with enzymes and markers which are associated with the initiation and protection of neurons. As a result, the Stop That Stutter repetitive training processes were able to effectively increase molecular activity also called Plasticity. causing the new fluent speech behavior to be integrated as “Muscle Memory” This would explain the ability of the previously stuttering client to resemble the behavior of someone who does not stutter. In summary, the development of the chains of cells (Neurons) ultimately result in skills that enable the stutterer to have his natural fluent speech restored in a period of four weeks or less
That is my theoretical explanation of how the Talkpower drills and exercises enabled the previously stuttering student to think and automatically talk naturally and easily with fluent speech after training with the Stop That Stutter technology. This includes speaking easily and naturally on the phone which happens to be particularly challenging for the stutterer.
Because of the proprietary nature of these original exercises, drills and routines I am not at liberty to describe them here with more specificity
Years ago when I first started conducting the Talkpower workshops I had no way of realizing how unusual my approach was or how profoundly important it was to become, to the thousands of speech phobic individuals and stutterers whose lives were forever changed after participating in the Talkpower Workshops or in the one on one Stop That Stutter sessions with me. Eventually, however, It became apparent that the successful reaction to the techniques and exercises I had developed was consistent and enduring in speech phobic individuals as well as people who stuttered. And so I wondered if these new behaviors that were so natural and involuntary might be connected in some way to activity in the brain. At that time I lacked a scientific language or a scientific orientation that would allow me to express or follow through theoretically on what I was perceiving. However, after observing the consistently transformative effects year after year I felt very strongly that the brain was somehow involved and affected by the Talkpower Concentration Training. So in my second book “Talkpower: The Mind-Body Way To Speak Without Fear” Capital Books, P. 44 I referred to the work of Dr. Eric Kandel Professor at Columbia University in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, a Nobel prize winner for his work with the Sea Slug. where he had demonstrated that “new neural connections can be made in response to the environment” I began to consider that this idea about new neural connections provided a possible objective explanation of what sets in motion the transformative experience that students who participate in the Stop That Stutter programs were experiencing. Furthermore, in the case of the stuttering, the concentration exercises represented the environment that Dr. Kandel was referring to and that the students were responding to with new fluid speech. Building on Dr. Kandel’s ‘theory, I am proposing that the systematic repetition of the Talkpower exercises may alter the functional connections between neurons and actually create changes in the cerebral cortex. As a result, this process causes the speech of the person who previously stuttered to resemble the behavior of someone who does not stutter This theory may explain how such a dramatic transformation can occur for 95 percent of the stuttering participants in such a short period.
AN ELITE POPULATION
In this regard may I say that although my observations are all anecdotal over the many years of my career I have had and still have the rare privilege of working with a significant number of high functioning professionals during which time I have observed consistently transformative brain remodeling results in clients who stutter as well as speech phobic individuals. This kind of opportunity for the observation of such transformative results in such a large and elite population over a lengthy period of time is highly unusual, and not one that is commonly experienced in laboratory studies
I am Natalie H. Rogers, MSW, CSW, founder of Talk Power: A Panic Clinic For Public Speaking My books, Talkpower How to Speak Without Fear and The New Talk Power The Mind-Body Way To Speak Without Fear has been published in 12 languages
In addition to more than 30 years of experience, conducting my Talkpower Workshops, for the public and for various companies, I have worked as a consultant for the American Express Company for nine years where I conducted countless Talkpower programs under the name "Stress Seminars For Public Speaking." The Stutter That Stutter One on One training sessions with me Natalie H. Rogers are conveniently available internationally on Skype.