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What are treatments for stuttering?

Different types of therapeutic interventions have had some success in treating stuttering. 

  • Direct speech therapy provides systematic steps and rules of speech mechanics that the person can practice.
  • Relaxation techniques aim to reduce tension and anxiety during speech.
  • Individualized treatment combinations use direct speech therapy, relaxation techniques and directed speech modification.
  • Stutterers with poor self-image, anxiety disorders or depressive disorders may be helped additionally with cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy, such as an SSRI antidepressant.
  • A self-therapy approach by the Stuttering Foundation of America informs stutterers that they can learn to control their difficulty partly by modifying their feelings and attitude about stuttering. The approach includes desensitizing the emotional reaction to, and fears of, stuttering and substituting positive action to control the moment of stuttering.
  • The Lidcombe Program has parents praise their child for periods of time when the child does not stutter and intervene when the child does stutter to ask the child to correct the stuttered word.
  • Parent-child interaction therapy under clinical study identifies stressor possibly associated with increased stuttering ad aims to diminish the stressors
  • Another therapy in clinical trials, which has shown some success with adults who stutter, teaches the patient to speak each syllable in time to a particular rhythm.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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