What is acceptance based therapy, really? And what role does it play in speech therapy? In this article, we begin tunpack the complexities around acceptance and progress.
Ah, the holidays. We often sit and reflect on where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
In the spirit of reflecting with gratitude, our pathologists share their thoughts and experiences on how to balance the present moment and our hopes for the future.
by Amina Dreessen, CF-SLP
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” – Lila Watson
Over the last two years, I completed my master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. While my master’s program was incredibly rigorous and taught me many important things about speech and language, I found myself noticing by the end of it that we had failed to learn the most important thing of all: that being a good clinician is as much about helping yourself as it is about helping others. Perhaps this is something that an academic program can’t really teach, and so I’m grateful to the life experience that has brought me to this awareness as I begin my first year as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). By telling a piece of my personal story here, I hope to illuminate for fellow SLPs, clients and their family members — and anyone interested in communication in general — what I mean when I say that an SLP’s liberation is bound up with the liberation of the people we work to help.Read more
speech IRL is unwaveringly dedicated to the clients we serve, and to implementing their uniqueness and individuality as the foundation for how we assist them in their communicative journeys.
Amina Dreessen is especially dedicated to this ideal.
A Social Communication Therapist for speech IRL, Amina takes a particular interest in enhancing the expressive abilities of autistic individuals, a passion she attributes to her brother. After witnessing the range of therapists who assisted him with his communication needs, Amina’s own fire was sparked.
As she got older, this original inspiration was strengthened through both personal and professional circumstances. Her time shadowing a speech therapist inspired her to pursue graduate studies, and her experiences as a dancer helped her become intimately familiar with the connection between movement, speech, and all the ways humans express themselves.Read more
As “lived experience” becomes more prominently valued (and evidence-based) in the therapeutic professions, working solely on skills is no longer a sufficient therapy plan. Impactful speech therapy needs to support bringing your communication skills, and your whole self, by extension, into the world.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
You may know her as your speech therapist or the instructor of our Mindful Communication course, but there’s probably a lot more that you don’t know about our Director of speech IRL West, Rachel Muldoon MSc, CCC-SLP. Rachel has been a practicing speech language pathologist for 5 years, plus 6 years of study. She is a certified yoga instructor, which informs her therapy with deeper physical awareness and experience with meditation. Rachel relocated from Chicago to California in the summer of 2020, where she founded our first expansion office, speech IRL West! Read on for more about Rachel’s specialty areas, her career in SLP and a few more surprises.Read more
The case for improved quality therapy, better relationships with clients, and a personal sense of pride and integrity in our work.
My good friend, Melanie, had a new year’s resolution a few years back to do something each month she was “bad at.” It reminded me of a recent beach volleyball game I’d reluctantly participated in. In the game I’d missed every pass and then got slammed in the head by the ball right when the game was over. I thought, “Why put herself through that?”
This past year has been one of vulnerability for me, moving to a new state and taking up the responsibilities as Director of speech IRL West. This, of course, was all during COVID, while still experimenting with the newness of motherhood. I have surely made mistakes (“sorry, I meant 2:00 pm PST, not CST”), been wrong (insurance codes are tricky), and struggled through the process (you cannot guarantee toddler naps!). And I have found a more authentic way of connecting with my clients on the journey.Read more