The roots of Avoidance Reduction Therapy for Stuttering are found in the pioneering work of the late Joseph Sheehan, a professor of psychology at UCLA, and his wife Vivian Sheehan, a Los Angeles-based speech pathologist. The Sheehans applied concepts from conflict theory and role theory to formulate an explanation for the behaviors and paradoxes we observe in those who stutter.
They described stuttering as an "approach-avoidance conflict," whereby competing desires to both speak and hold back from speaking result in (1) maladaptive reactive behaviors that interfere with communication, and (2) "mental gymnastics" that limit participation in daily life.
In this 2-hour video, Vivian Sisskin, M.S., CCC-SLP, from the University of Maryland, walks clinicians through methods of group therapy while providing the nuts and bolts of Avoidance Reduction Therapy. Sisskin, mentored by the Sheehans early in her career, outlines the basic principles, goals of treatment, and therapeutic strategies of her treatment program for stuttering.
This presentation serves as both a tutorial for speech-language pathologists and a self-help primer for those who stutter. Activities and video demonstrations provide ideas for activities and assignments that lead to spontaneous, forward-moving communication, free of control.
ASHA CEUs for this and other Stuttering Foundation products are available at www.stutteringCEUS.org
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES Vivian Siskin: Receives a salary from the University of Maryland and received an honorarium from Stuttering Foundation for teaching the lecture. NONFINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: None