I am Luuk, 22 years old and living in the Netherlands.
Throughout my life, I had a slight stutter that I was struggling with sometimes. Personally, stuttering comes in “waves”: in some situations and with certain people, I don’t have any struggles with my speech, whereas in other situations, I can’t say one sentence without stuttering. When I was talking to myself in an empty room, I can always talk super fluently, which frustrated me sometimes.
Stuttering never impacted my life in such a way that I felt the motivation to search for help. I only did some small exercises in my room occasionally, like reading a book out loud. However, the previous August, I went on an exchange to Svalbard for my study, where I suddenly had to express myself in English instead of my native tongue. I noticed that I sometimes struggled with the language and that my stuttering increased. I felt it sometimes obstructed me in my social life there, which was for me the point where I decided to try to resolve this problem.
I found BeneTalk via the internet and downloaded it. I was impressed how the short “welcome course” helped me magnificently with obtaining insights about my stutter. Especially the cycle of tension and stuttering was for me an eye-opener. From this moment, practising was easier since I knew my problem better. First, I practised three times a week for half an hour, by the reading and questions modules and by reflecting on my conversations with others. At the moment, I practice 15 minutes every day, since I found on the internet that daily practice of shorter duration is even more efficient.
Currently, my speech has improved a lot and I am able most of the time to control it. If I stutter, I mostly know the origin of it and how to resolve it.
I have some main lessons I have learned from my experience with stuttering that I would like to pass on to you:
Try to be always friendly to yourself. It is not your fault that you have this struggle and you may respect yourself because you are trying to resolve it.
Try to implement some kind of daily or weekly practice, to obtain your results efficiently.
Try to be open to other people about your stuttering. This helps in feeling comfortable and thus feeling less tension. Honestly, this is still a struggle for me as well.
I wish you all the best in your own process!