Mastering Blocking and Stuttering

A Cognitive Approach to Achieving Fluency

By: Bob G Bodenhamer


£30.00


Size: 234mm x 156mm

Pages : 208

ISBN : 9781904424406

Format: Hardback

Published: October 2021


Most people who block and stammer do not do so every time they speak Indeed, most people who stammer are consistently fluent in certain contexts. When by themselves, speaking to a pet or speaking to a person with whom they are comfortable they speak fluently. This behaviour has been a puzzle for people who stammer and for speech pathologists who think stammering is a purely physical problem for many years.

Now the puzzle has finally been solved by this outstanding new book which details a completely new approach to treating this debilitating condition. Bob Bodenhamer explains that blocking results from the thinking (cognition) of the stammerer as he or she associates speaking with a lot of fear and anxiety about stammering. Most blocking is no more than a panic attack expressed in the muscles that control breathing and speaking. This book both explains the structure of blocking and provides the tools for gaining more fluency.

Click here to view Bob G Bodenhamer's related paperback title I Have a Voice: How to stop stuttering, £16.99.

Picture for author Bob G Bodenhamer

Bob G Bodenhamer

Dr. Bodenhamer's under-graduate degree (BA) is from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC (1972). His major at Appalachian State University was Philosophy and Religion with a minor in Psychology. He received the Master of Divinity (1976) and the Doctor of Ministry Degree (1978) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. The Master of Divinity Degree included training in Pastoral Care with both classroom and clinical work. Dr. Bodenhamer received one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education from Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, N. C. while working on his doctorate. His marriage to Linda now spans 43 years.

His NLP Practitioner's Certification comes from L.E.A.D.s Consultants in Reynoldsburg, OH, Dr. Gene Rooney, Trainer. Dr. Bodenhamer's NLP Master Certification and Master Time Line TherapyTMPractitioner Certification came from Tad James, Ph.D. of Advanced Neuro-Dynamics of Honolulu, HI. Additional training has been received from NLP conferences. Dr. Bodenhamer has approximately 1500 hours of formal NLP training. He taught NLP for 10 years in the Corporate/Community Education program at Gaston College. Dr. Bodenhamer received his certification as a Trainer of NLP from Tad James, Ph.D., Advance Neuro Dynamics, Honolulu, Hawaii and Wyatt Woodsmall, Ph.D. of Advanced Behavioral Modeling, Inc., Arlington, VA.

As an International Master NLP Trainer, he offers both certified training for Practitioners and Master Practitioners of NLP. He has a private NLP Therapy practice. Dr. Bodenhamer has served four Southern Baptist churches as pastor. He is presently serving as pastor of a mission church called Christ Fellowship Community Church. His time in the pastorate spans 44 years. All of his pastorates have been in North Carolina. Bob has had the privilege of being married to Linda for the past 45 years (10/17/1965).



He has co-authored 10 NLP books and is the sole author of I Have a Voice: How to Stop Stuttering.

The NLP in Healthcare Award was presented to Bob G Bodenhamer at the NLP award ceremony 2017.


Reviews

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  2. This is a book I may never have read. The title indicates a speciality which addresses the needs of those who stammer but the content does much more than that. It makes sense of the limiting beliefs we put upon ourselves and lights up a pathway of options for dealing with those limiters.

    "In the early years children expect love and acceptance from the significant people around them, but often find that they are rejected for whatever reason. Actually, being rejected is inevitable; it is part of growing up."There are many times in the early years when children are learning to speak when they stumble and stutter as they express themselves. If the PWS (Person Who Stutters) learns to associate rejection from others with a particular behaviour " their blocking and stuttering " then the emotions surrounding that become dominant, and the child pays more and more attention to the way they are speaking."

    The author talks about how a person's model of the world determines how they experience life at any moment and "If they tell themselves that they are a person of worth, they will live their life one way. If, on the other hand, they view themselves in a negative light with little or no power to navigate their world, they live their life in a more restricted way."

    The book abounds with simple NLP techniques that fit well into the hypnotherapeutic model. Recognising the triggers that cause the person to block or stutter, finding the person's calm state, dealing with stress, changing perceptual positions to dissociate and observe from an objective viewpoint and explaining how to go about helping the person to create change and take control. One particular technique is the "Drop-Down Through pattern" and this is fully explained and having recently experienced it myself, I wholeheartedly endorse it.

    I found the whole book fascinating and extremely readable. The author provides an insight into what can be done to loosen the mortar around long held beliefs and offers techniques that can help people who stammer change the way they think about themselves and how they relate to others.
  3. Reading Bob's book was a revelation for me. It articulates in a manner that is simultaneously profound and very logical the possible reasons why we make ourselves block and provides mental exercises that, for me at least, were remarkably effective in moving beyond them. I still have work to do but thanks to the book I already have made major improvements.
  4. For over 14 years Bob Bodenhamer has worked with hundreds of people who stutter, helping them recover from speech dysfluency. His successes and articles on the subject have attracted the attention of people who stutter from around the world. With the publication of Mastering Blocking and Stuttering, Bodenhamer is now one of the leading experts in the field and a pioneer in the treatment of stuttering, stammering, and verbal blocking. This is a book for speech and language therapists, and all therapists who work with stutterers, as well as stutterers themselves who are looking for a self-help approach to the problem.

    The book's central premise is that stuttering is a learned behavior, more cognitive than physical. The book draws upon Neuro-Semantics, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, cognitive psychology, and General Semantics in defining the cognitive components of stuttering and in fully explaining strategies for change. Bodenhamer acknowledges the theoretical contributions of John Harrison on "The Stuttering Hexagon" and "The McGuire Programme for Getting Good at the Sport of Speaking" founded by Dave McGuire.

    The Origins of Stuttering
    Stuttering invariably has its roots in traumatic and unsettling childhood events. It begins as a naturally-occurring blocking in response to stressful and frightening experiences. Somehow, often due to the reactions of observers, the child comes to think of the dysfluency as something unusual, bad, and unacceptable. Soon the child associates blocking with anxiety, dreading it, trying to prevent it, and yet, the blocking and stuttering become more pronounced, more frequent. Unable to control the stuttering, the child identifies himself as a "stutterer" and attaches meanings to that identity, such as defective, hopeless, and incurable. Along with this self-rejection comes the belief that others are cruel, judging, untrustworthy, and plotting some treachery against the one who stutters. Bodenhamer reminds us that underneath all the misery of stuttering, the behavior serves unconscious motives, preserving the integrity of the personality and the safety of the individual.

    Toward Fluency
    People who stutter must complete three tasks in order to gain fluency:
    • Develop a healthy concept of self.
    • Ignore what others may or may not think of them.
    • Know that they have the personal resources for living successfully in the world.


    Mastering Blocking and Stuttering shows the reader how to accomplish these outcomes. Bodenhamer proposes a therapeutic approach that incorporates a variety of interventions such as:
    • Reframing the unconscious intentions of stuttering.
    • Identifying and changing limiting and disempowering beliefs. This process applies especially to the two main categories of beliefs that drive stuttering; 1) negative beliefs about self as worthless, flawed and defective, and 2) the belief that the world is a dangerous, insecure, frightening place in which others cannot be trusted.
    • Changing the outdated "maps" formed in childhood.
    • Anchoring states of calm.
    • Overcoming a sense of helplessness through personal empowerment.
    • Confronting cognitive distortions.
    • Teaching behavioral flexibility by directing attention away from self and toward the purpose and content of one's communication.
    • Having well-formed outcomes for fluency.
    • Making use of foreground and background cognitions.
    • Shifting perceptual positions for adopting new points of view.


    A major hurdle is to convince the person who stutters that he or she actually can control and change thoughts and emotions. Bodenhamer devotes a chapter to the internal representations that accompany stuttering; the horror movies of the mind that create fear and anticipatory anxiety; the mind-talk about failure and rejection. He educates the reader on how to change the movies and the inner dialog by applying submodality change patterns. For movies of traumatic childhood memories, he recommends Visual Kinesthetic Dissociation.

    Another challenge for anyone who wants to overcome stuttering is to create new meanings, beliefs, and associations. One method is called "Creating a New Self Narrative" in which the individual who stutters writes his or her life narrative "up until now," evaluates the narrative, finds counterexamples to major beliefs and premises, and then writes a new, better story of the future "from now on."

    Stress management is particularly important in working toward fluency. Bodenhamer includes a chapter on this topic, addressing how to create and anchor states of calm, as well as how to diffuse intense emotions and view them in a detached, objective manner.

    Bodenhamer concludes the text with a number of specific change methods for personal empowerment and self-esteem. These include:
    • Content reframing.
    • Context reframing.
    • Accessing self-acceptance, appreciation and awe.
    • Swish patterns.
    • The No to Yes pattern
    • The Drop Down and Through Pattern


    NLP practitioners and anyone familiar with Bodenhamer's work (and that of his frequent co-author L. Michael Hall) will recognize most of these processes. What this book adds to the knowledge base are numerous case studies that depict precisely how to apply these processes to the problem of stuttering. A word of caution from the author: Achieving fluency is not accomplished in a few short therapy sessions. Bodenhamer estimates that 25 to 30 hours of therapy and much at-home practice are required for successful results.

    About the Author
    Bob Bodenhamer is one of the most accomplished clinicians and authors I know and truly admire. With a Doctorate in Divinity, he has studied religion, psychology, pastoral care, and philosophy. In obtaining certification as a practitioner and trainer of NLP, he trained under leaders in the field, such as Thad James and Wyatt Woodsmall. He serves as a training consultant for corporations and maintains a private therapy practice in North Carolina. He has served four Southern Baptist churches as pastor, over a span of 34 years. He teaches at Gaston College, in Gastonia, North Carolina. With L. Michael Hall, he co-founded the Institute of Neuro-Semantics and trains NLP practitioners, with continuing education approval from the National Board of Certified Clinical Counselors. He has co-authored ten books on the subjects of Neuro-Semantics, NLP, and hypnotic language patterns.

    Conclusion
    With Mastering Blocking and Stuttering, Bob Bodenhamer has produced a definitive text on the treatment of stuttering. In doing so, he has received recognition from the National Stuttering Association in the U.S. and the British Stammering Association in the U.K. This book should be in the hands of every speech and language specialist and therapist who works with people who stutter. It is well-organized and highly readable with easy-to-understand methods and examples. I predict this ground-breaking work will stand as a landmark achievement in the advancement of therapies for alleviating language dysfluency.
  5. I found this book most interesting and useful as did many of my clients.
  6. Getting to the root of the stammer
    By Mark Smith


    I am 45 and have tried various speech therapy techniques over the past 40 years with varying degrees of success. I have been incredibly lucky in that time to have met and had therapy from some of the leading speech therapists in the country. These gifted individuals have given me techniques, which I still use to this day, such as prolonged speech and to a lesser extent block modification. But, and there is always a but, these techniques do not offer for me the full solution. They help prevent some of the overt symptoms of stammering but do not tackle the underlying cause, that is, what triggers my stammering?

    Bob Bodenhamer's book, Mastering Blocking and Stuttering, describes the application of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to stammering and attempts to provide an answer to what triggers stammering. The basic concept put forward in the book is that everybody has periods or 'states' of fluency and if only an individual can identify the composite elements of these fluent 'resource states' they can then be applied in situations where dysfluency normally occurs. This will hopefully lead to a natural diminution of the stammer and help the person to focus on elements in life other than their pattern of speaking and people's perception of them. The first chapter concentrates on the origins of stammering and puts forward the theory that the majority of stammering is derived from some childhood trauma or particular circumstance which leads to an internalisation of emotions such as frustration and anger. This manifests itself in a reluctance to speak and hence stammering or blocking occurs. Then as we develop and mature into adulthood our experiences and responses to stammering encode our mind-body system to such an extent that the cues or triggers for stammering have become so embedded that we are not conscious of them happening. These experiences and responses then form layers of emotions which dictate the person's view of the world which is often negative and thus a misperception. The second chapter leads on from this idea that a stammerer's perception of themselves and the outside world has been determined by many years of stammering and that in order to become fluent they have to think differently. In effect, by gradually peeling away the ingrained responses you can get to the essential triggers of stammering. Bob also feels that the person has to admit that they are in control of their stammer and emotions and therefore by dispensing with continual negative thinking they can achieve a state where the stammer has no reason to exist and fluency can almost occur naturally. The rest of the book goes on to provide practical NLP techniques and case studies to help reframe the stammerer's perceptions. These are primarily designed to be used by an experienced NLP practitioner as the psychological techniques are quite complex and will inevitably uncover fairly deep rooted and difficult emotions within the person. That's why I believe that the NLP approach would only succeed if applied by an experienced NLP practitioner. However, I found the book to be tremendously useful to identify a methodology to analyse the psychological aspects of stammering. Even applying some of the basic principles for a few weeks, for example, to stop having a negative framework and perception of oneself and the world, I have found to be enormously uplifting and empowering I have become more relaxed about my stammer and in some situations I am beginning to see a lessening of the fear and anxiety. I shall now seek out an NLP practitioner to continue the therapy.
  7. At long last, speech language therapists and those who stutter have tools to address the most overlooked component of stuttering - the habits of thought that drive the speech block. The neuro-semantic processes described in this book will help the person who stutters to build a framework for fluency that can lead to permanent change.
  8. This book is a tremendous resource for exploring, understanding and “unlearning” the habits, beliefs and feelings that create and maintain blocking and stuttering. The NLP strategies help clinicians and people who stutter deconstruct undesired communication patterns and reconstruct communication skills that allow one's innate fluency to emerge naturally. I recommend this book to anyone who believes that it's not the speech that needs to change, it's the feelings and beliefs associated with the specific circumstance that need to change.
  9. Through NLP and the strategies in this book I have won the perfect trifecta. I have used the strategies to dramatically improve the results I get in therapy, I have helped myself overcome stuttering, and I have enjoyed an explosion in my private practice. Resolving cognitive and affective issues common in people who stutter has long been perplexing to professionals treating it. Study this book and find solutions for truly resolving stuttering.

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