Another Successful Let’s Talk!

Carla DiDomenicantonio

The CSA held its fifth Let’s Talk on-line webinar on Sunday, June 26. If you missed this event, it is possible for you to view a recording of the session at your convenience. Simply register and you will receive a link to the video. The video will be available until August 1, 2022.

Based on who was in attendance, the topic appealed to persons who stutter, speech-language pathologists, speech-language pathology students, and parents of children who stutter.

Our guest speakers Dr. Ross Menzies, a Clinical Psychologist, and Dr. Mark Onslow, a Speech-Language Pathologist, both from the Australian Stuttering Research Centre (ASRC), did not disappoint. They shared insightful information about stuttering and anxiety collected through their research and clinical experiences. They answered participant questions in a satisfying way, with thoroughness and care. We thank them again for generously sharing their time, knowledge and expertise with us.

The evening began with a presentation from Dr. Menzies in which he explained some of the reasons why persons affected by stuttering are likely to develop anxiety and mood-related disorders and listed the types of mental health issues that are most likely to occur in adolescents and adults who stutter (AWS). He shared information about research conducted at the ASRC on the benefits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy, for persons affected by stuttering and anxiety. An interesting finding is that social anxiety is easier to treat in PWS than in persons who don’t stutter. This is because PWS are not born with an anxious temperament and are not inherently anxious beings. Unpleasant experiences encountered due to stuttering provide a foundation for anxiety and anxiety-inducing thoughts to develop. Anxiety can affect a person’s well-being and willingness to fully participate in their life.

They also shared information about iGlebe, a standalone “clinician-less” online CBT program developed specifically for AWS. Clinical trials have shown that it is an effective way to deliver CBT. PWS can self-register by visiting the iGlebe site. Speech-Language Pathologists can also direct clients to the site. The program takes about 15 weeks to complete (one hour per week) and assigns homework between sessions. Clients work their way through the program independently, at no cost to speech therapists or clients. For clients who prefer clinician-led CBT, it is possible for Speech-Language Pathologists to learn how to carry out CBT with their clients through self-study or more formal training. Some Speech-Language Pathologists already provide CBT as part of their speech therapy.

We thank everyone for their participation and for making this another successful Let’s Talk. We spent a stimulating and enlightening couple of hours together learning more about and discussing the role of anxiety in stuttering. If you were unable to make it, we encourage you to hear the presentation for yourself!

We also want to thank our donors. It is through the generosity of our membership that we can bring interesting and helpful programming to CSA members like you. As an incentive, we provided the opportunity to win a $100 gift card for each $20 amount that was donated. The winners of the June 26 draw were Stephen and Gay G. Thank you for your donation, and congratulations!

If there is a topic you would like discussed as part of a Let’s Talk webinar, please let us know. Be sure to state that the suggestion is for a future Let’s Talk We welcome and appreciate your suggestions.

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