Sometimes, when we are still getting to know a new client, we’ll ask them to draw their stutter. Here’s why:
It opens up new ways of thinking about stuttering. People often come to us when their stutter has, for a long time, been a source of worry, shame, and distress. By taking a step back to think about how to draw stuttering, clients begin to think about it in a different, more neutral way.
Some people are visual thinkers. Not everyone explains best in words. Drawing allows clients a second form of expression, in which they may be more comfortable or able to access their feelings differently.
It makes things concrete. Especially for clients who have a hard time naming thoughts and feelings, a drawing can provide a way to visualize stuttering in an understandable way.
We learn new things. A picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes, no matter how much we’ve talked with our clients about stuttering, some new shade of meaning or emotion comes through in a picture.
How to do it:
Provide paper and drawing tools, then prompt away! For online therapy, the Zoom Whiteboard or online shared drawing tools such as Google Drawing can provide a fun and interactive experience.
The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY, Atlanta, GA, and Los Angeles, CA, and services are also available online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.