University of Limerick
Fox_2013_experience.pdf (1.28 MB)

The experience of individuals- who stutter- who have attended the Dublin adult stuttering course.

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posted on 2013-12-20, 15:00 authored by Sarah Fox
Background and Aim: When an individual who stutters struggles to speak, the consequences of the disorder are clearly revealed. Stuttering is a communicative disorder that presents itself as an interruption to the forward flow of speech. Sheehan (1956) suggested that the stuttering behaviour is the result of a conflict between opposed urges to speak and hold back from speaking. This ‘holding back’ from speaking consequently results in learned avoidances such as; avoidance of communicative situations, avoidance of communicative interactions or avoidance or certain words or sounds. Sheehan hypothesized that a significant reduction in avoidance behaviours, will resolve conflict and thus reduce the stuttering behaviour. This signifies that one of the main goals of treatment would be the elimination of all tendencies to avoid. The purpose of this study, therefore, is an exploration of the experience of individuals-who stutter-and who have attended a specific treatment course for adults; the Dublin Adult Stuttering course (DAS). This therapy course is designed to gradually reduce avoidance and increase acceptance of being a person who stutters. Of particular interest were perceived changes resulting from attending the DAS course. It is hoped that this study will provide a better understanding of the nature of stuttering, how it changes and which elements of therapy are deemed to be useful. Method: Four individuals who attended the course no more than 7 years ago were individually interviewed and their responses transcribed. A phenomenological methodology was applied. Inductive thematic analysis of the four semi-structured interviews was conducted. Results: Analysis of the data generated 6 main themes(1) Awareness(2) Avoidance(3) Feelings(4) Experience of the course(5) Outcomes of the course Discussion: A comprehensive treatment approach was employed by the DAS course. This addressed underlying aspects of the disorder in addition to rather than instead of increased fluency. Participants regarded this approach as the most beneficial aspect of the therapy course. Additionally, following therapy, there was little or no indication of the negative emotions that accompanied the participant’s experiences before the course.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Franklin, Sue





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