Hi, I am Suraj Kumar. I am 23 years old. I am an IIT Delhi graduate. To more about me, visit my page at www.thinkingonindia.in/suraj-kumar
6 components of Stuttering Hexagon
- Physiological responses
- It's simply means its biology or genetics, you can't do anything about it. That is people react differently to stimulus. For example some people are predisposed to be overweight because of their genes. Similarly in some people, stress in some people can lead to disfluency
- Behaviours (or Secondary Symptoms)
- There are some behaviours that are counter productive to losing weight. Similarly there are some behaviours which are counter productive to fluent speech. For examples, Holding the breath, pursing the lips or locking the vocal cords. If these behaviour are curtailed, then the person can speak fluently.
- People who are obese have experience negative emotions such as self-hate, embarrassment. So the find solace in food and this over eat
- Similarly people who stammer developed this cycle of chronic stuttering. First their normal fluency upsets them. So it leads to blocking. So when they are unable to speak at opportune moment then that's emotionally upset as deal with frustration, fear, embarrassment, helplessness or rejections. Such negative emotions further lead to more struggle with the speech blocks
- Perceptions are defined by two things, fist is what we experience at the moment and second is that these experiences are decided by our beliefs, expectation and state of mind
- E.g. If we perceive that we are odd because the way we talk differs us from the rest. Then we may interpret, whispered comments about us while we are speaking to a group of people
- Beliefs are different from perceptions. Perceptions are somewhat short-term and can be easily changed. While Beliefs are somewhat fixed in the short-term.
- We should be more worried about negative beliefs as they will keep us directed in negative direction or towards our fall. Here are some examples of such negative beliefs
- We will not get good-looking girls/boys because we stammer
- We are different from other people because we stammer.
- Beliefs shape our perceptions. It's like tinted glasses through which we see the world.
- Beliefs are formed by two ways
- Authority Figures (Our parents, teachers): whatever they say we believe it on face value without even questioning anything
- Experiences: Beliefs are formed when our experiences are somewhat in same way or particular way. For example, if we get rejected in interview 3 or 4 times, we might get perception that stammerers are not good for jobs
- I want to speak but can't speak because in reality I don't want to speak because if I do then I will experience some kind of pain or people will get to know about my imperfection.
- So yes my apparent intention is to speak but my hidden intention is hide or hold back. Thus in this conflict which takes us in opposite direction, we experience blocked and unable to move anyway. This phenomenon is also called approach-avoidance conflict
How the Stuttering hexagon works?
- Stuttering hexagon works on system mentality. Systems mentality means that every part of system is affected by other parts and affects other parts of system. So for example behaviour is affected by all the rest 5 components of stuttering hexagon. If majority of components are in negative way, then it's very hard to be fluent even though you might have taken speech therapy.
- Consider for example the following case which does not supports fluent speech.
- In authors words (John C. Harrison)
"Let's say a person undergoes a successful program of speech therapy. He (or she) achieves a high level of fluency. But in the weeks and months that follow the person does nothing to modify (1) his negative emotional responses; (2) his negative perceptions; (3) what he negatively believes to be possible, and that includes every belief he holds about who and what he is; and (4) the negative psychological programming or patterned behavior that leads him to react in self-defeating ways.
What is likely to happen?
His blocking will return (or in the case of weight, the pounds will reappear.) This is because each of these points is continually exerting a negative influence on the only positive point in the system (Point #2: fluent speech), and over time the person’s speech will gradually slip back into the old familiar dysfluency. In short, the original system will reestablish itself."
- Now consider the case which supports fluent speech
How TISA acceptance is linked to Stuttering hexagon
(I am still very new to acceptance as advocated by TISA, but these are my views which might be inconsistent with TISA)
- TISA wants to works on acceptance mainly by working on emotions, perceptions, beliefs and intentions component of Stuttering hexagon. Following is the way in which TISA works on them
- Through practices such as prolongation or bouncing, It wants to work on our behaviours which are responsible for disfluent speech
(This article was first published on Thinking on India (Author's Blog) at http://www.thinkingonindia.in/system-of-stammering/)