Stammering therapy from the inside

‘Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet’
– Aristotle

As some of you will know, I have been involved in editing a book on co-authoring stammering therapy knowledge with Carolyn Cheasman and Rachel Everard at City Lit over the past few years. My first foray into the world of publishing books, it has been an adventure that has taught me a great deal about patience. The idea of the book – to provide people who stammer and their therapists with a shared platform to reflect on their different experiences of stammering and therapy – originated from discussions Carolyn and I began back in the early 2000s. At that time we struggled to find a publisher who considered client and therapist accounts to be valid evidence. Thankfully attitudes have since changed and, over a decade later, our determination has paid off as the book was finally published this month:





The collaborative process of editing has been both predictably and surprisingly time-consuming; a journey, marked interchangeably with highs and lows, that has required considerable resolve, good humour and willingness to compromise. Despite or possibly because of this, I have found the experience deeply engaging and satisfying. I sincerely hope the final publication serves to inspire both therapists and people who stammer to continue to collaborate and extend the boundaries of thinking about stammering therapy.

‘I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples’
– Mother Teresa

Yalom (2008) first drew my attention to the phenomenon of rippling. The value of listening, bearing witness to and learning from the stories, wisdom and expertise of my clients is precious to me, and the idea of passing the importance of this on to others has provided the personal meaning, commitment and perseverance to see this project through to its end. I hope the book illustrates the significance and potency of listening to those central to the therapy process, yet who all too often remain unheard. The integration of client and therapist perspectives invites a paradigm shift, where insider accounts are included not simply as an adjunct, but as a robust, integral source of information in their own right.

To mark the publication of ‘Stammering Therapy from the Inside: New Perspectives on Working with Young People and Adults’ there will be study day at City Lit on 9th May 2013 focusing on several themes from the book. The Right Honourable Ed Balls MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, will be speaking at the official launch of the book at lunchtime. Having contributed to one of the chapters in the book, he is also hosting a second celebratory event at the House of Commons later that evening. I cannot help but smile with continued disbelief at the thought of marking the publication of this book in such a way. It seems incredible, when I think back to the early discussions about the book with Carolyn, to consider how small ideas can be sown and in time grow in such surprising and unpredictable ways.