Before initiating individual services, we like to get to know you during a free consultation meeting. This usually takes place at our office, although can be performed via phone or web conference. A consultation is a very informal 15-30 minute conversation where we get to know each other. Why are you interested in services? What are you hoping to change? We want to get to know you, but also encourage you to ask questions of us. Does our style seem like a good fit for you?
We don’t perform any testing, assessment, or treatment during a consultation, although we may share some initial informal impressions.
At the end of the consultation, we’ll discuss possible next steps. This could be moving forward with an assessment, signing up for a class, referral to an outside provider, or taking time to go home and think about everything.
If you decide to pursue services following the consultation, we schedule an assessment. This is a full hour-long session focused on information gathering. We identify your current patterns, strengths, weaknesses, and goals in order to build a long-term learning plan for you.
All of our assessments include an interview and history. Depending on your goal areas, we may administer some very specific and technical tasks, or we may take a more informal observation approach using role-plays. Our assessment process at speech IRL is very informal, because our approach is focused on problem-solving practical communication challenges. We do not place a strong emphasis on diagnosis, although we do use a diagnostic process and discuss impressions with you.
Although the purpose of the assessment is information-gathering, we aim to spend a short amount of time at the end practicing a skill. We want you to walk out of the first visit with something to start working on in your coming week!
Once the assessment is completed, we move into regular treatment or coaching sessions. Most of our clients attend sessions either once a week or once every two weeks, but frequency can vary depending on your goals and personal schedule. All sessions are one hour.
What happens in a session varies wildly depending on the individual and their communication goals. If you’re working on voice or a specific speech sound, there will be a lot of intense physical practice and drill. If you’re working on social skills, ADHD, or anxiety, there may be role-play with structured conversation, observation, and analysis. Working on language or stuttering may include a combination of structured skill practice and role-play. Counseling is a major component of all the work at speech IRL, since communication confidence is the #1 goal area for our clients! Communication self-awareness and self-exploration are foundational for all the work we do, and we structure sessions to build these skills for everyone.
We encourage clients to bring in real life scenarios to use as “material” during our sessions. Practicing presentations, speeches, job interviews, pitch meetings, and dinner party small-talk are common session activities.
The duration of treatment varies. Some clients find that attending just a few sessions gives them the knowledge and tools they need to figure things out on their own. Others stay with us for years, because they value the practice opportunities and accountability. On average, most of our clients attend regular sessions for 3-4 months, and drop to monthly check-ins or call us “as needed” after that. We view ourselves as a resource: we’re here when you need us, however much or little that is.
Whether you're a professional, a parent, a partner, or a business leader looking to address organizational-level interaction issues, we use soulful science to move your forward.