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Stuttering therapy

***COVID-19 update: all services, including individual, group classes, and consultations, are provided online via Zoom videoconferencing. Insurance coverage for online services is the same as for in-office services. Learn more about online speech therapy here, or contact us for more information.***

What is stuttering?

Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by interruptions or stoppages in the smooth flow of speech. These interruptions, or disfluencies, may include repetition of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases, prolongations of sounds, or blocks, tension-filled stoppages of speech and airflow that feels like the word is "stuck". A feeling of loss of control, or inability to get the word out, is often present among people who stutter.

Stuttering may be accompanied by secondary behaviors, which are physical movements that occur during a stutter to help get the word out. These can range from small movements like blinking to very large movements such as moving the hands, feet, or head.

Stuttering can have a serious impact on a speaker's social-emotional well-being. If you find yourself avoiding certain words, situations, or conversational encounters because you worry about stuttering, speech therapy can help improve your speech and increase your overall speaking confidence.

Do you hear repetitions, prolongations, or blocks in your child’s speech?

Learn more about stuttering therapy for young children

What happens in stuttering therapy?

We take a holistic approach to stuttering treatment. We often start with education and awareness of stuttering and your stuttering pattern. From there, you will learn some basic techniques to gain more control and manage your stutter. Once you are comfortable with the techniques, role-playing and real-life simulation are a key component of therapy at speech IRL, which allow you to practice using techniques in real-life situations. These simulation activities also aim at reducing fear, anxiety, and avoidance so that you can be more confident when speaking.

Thoughts, feelings, and overall life impact are components that will be emphasized throughout therapy. We incorporate principles of both Avoidance Reduction Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We provide a very wide range of physical and psychological tools from a variety of approaches, and work with each individual client to determine what will be successful for you specifically. For clients with prior speech therapy experience, we build on past knowledge or skills that you would like to keep, and look for new options in the areas you'd like to explore.  

Will therapy cure my stutter?

There is no "cure" for stuttering. The goal of speech therapy at speech IRL is to help you manage your stutter better and gain confidence in speaking situations. For many people, developing stutter management skills does lead to increased fluency. Regardless of fluency, often our clients report less avoidance and anxiety associated with stuttering and more comfortable and confident communication skills. We value saying what you want over how you say it. 


Can you tell me more about the speech IRL stuttering team?

We are extremely proud of the fact that our entire stuttering team at speech IRL has devoted both their professional and personal lives to supporting people who stutter (PWS). We regularly present at state and national conferences, teaching other SLPs about stuttering. Combined, we've founded multiple National Stuttering Association chapters, published research articles, been featured on StutterTalk, developed new treatment programs, taught university classes, and served on stuttering community non-profit boards. We currently lead chapter meetings, teach graduate-level courses in stuttering, contribute to research studies, blog in-house and as guest authors, train graduate student clinicians, and continue to create community programs and host events. Most of the specialists on our team are themselves people who stutter, and are able to bring a very real, personal message of hope and empathy to our clients, because it is rooted in personal experience.

While stuttering is difficult and painful, it is our true joy to work with individuals who stutter and their families. We've spent literally thousands of hours with people who stutter, of all ages, across all life experiences. We know from our own experience, and those of the stuttering community, that creating a fulfilling, empowering speaking experience is attainable for every person. We are honored to join you on your journey.


“Before my 9 year old son began working with Speech IRL he thought he was the only one who stuttered. As a parent, watching your child struggle not only expressing themselves but in my son’s case being so hard on himself and lacking the confidence to follow through with a conversation was very difficult.  Speech IRL has changed our family’s life by giving him the support he has never had through therapy. Natalie is an amazing speech pathologist who has helped my son embrace his voice by using speech tools and confidence building blocks that work. We are also now part of a wonderful community of stuttering friends and their families through Shared Voices. My boy doesn’t feel alone anymore and I feel like we have finally found a therapy group that cares and is changing his life.”
R, parent

When I first met Ms. Katie I used to be self conscious about my stutter and I wouldn’t talk that much. Once I was started to go to Speech IRL, I felt like I could talk to Ms. Katie about my stutter. We have made a close bond and now I feel like I can talk to her about anything. Now I feel comfortable talking to my friends and classmates. I’m not afraid to speak because of my stutter. I have also learned from Ms. Katie to be a self advocate. I have learned so much from her and would tell anyone that has issues with stuttering that they should see Ms. Katie. She has really helped me and my family.
K, age 14

Courtney worked patiently with me to help me be aware of the causes of my stutter, how it made me feel and eventually, accept it. Somewhere along my journey of acceptance, came the change! Her training gave me the vocabulary to persuade others around me become my communication allies. Her techniques are actionable and easy to remember. Courtney, thank you for making a difference.
J, professional