Monday, January 13, 1997

Fear is not a fundamental cause of blocking

From: Winston Purdy
>So I agree with Richard H. that the blockage takes place in the brain as a
>result of a (very real) fear that the speech mechanism won't work

I don't want to put words in Richard's mouth, but, since so far I have agreed with everything Richard says, I assume we have the same mental "model". At any rate, according to "mine", yes, blocks occur "in the brain" but no, NOT NECESSARILY as a result of fear. Fear certainly contributes to whatever factors trigger blocks, but its absence is no guarantee of fluency. I say this from personal experience. I have long eliminated all concerns about stuttering on any words but an occasional block still manages to catch me by surprise. NONE is a result of any fear or "expectation" on my part.

Elimination of fear will invariably result in fluency improvement, and, for this reason, it's an essential element of any therapy, BUT, if we are looking for fundamental causes of stuttering, it's a red herring, IMO.