A New Approach to Stuttering: Diagnosis and Therapy

Zbigniew Tarkowski
Head of Department of Pathology and Rehabilitation of Speech, Medical University of Lublin, Poland

Series: Speech and Language Disorders
BISAC: MED007000



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The author presents a new approach to the therapy of stuttering. Instead of accepting stuttering and trying to make it more fluent, he prefers to motivate a patient to effectively battle the condition. This book presents a theoretical basis for such an approach and offers diagnostic tools, including normalized and standardized scales as well as questionnaires for examining patients with stuttering in different age groups. While guest authors review research on the effects of pharmacotherapy, which is regarded as controversial by many, the author focuses on discussing the approach and achievements of Central and Eastern European therapists which have not been heard of in the USA and Western European countries. He supports systemic therapy which affects all the basic stuttering factors, i.e. speech disfluency, logophobia, muscle tension and interpersonal communication in a comprehensive way. Speech disfluency is not regarded as a problem, but merely as an obstacle on the way to accomplish a patient’s personal goals. The author presents particular methods for solving the problems of patients with stuttering and considers motivation to therapy important, though it is reduced due to the acceptance of the disorder. Although he supports using natural speech in the course of therapy, he does not reject other techniques. On the contrary, the author believes that therapeutic methods should be adjusted to the needs and abilities of a patient instead of forcing said patient to use a method simply because it is universal. The author believes therapies are subjective to the patient in question. Additionally, the author is optimistic and encourages both therapists and patients to share his optimism as well.


Chapter 1. Introduction to Diagnosis and Therapy of Persons with Stuttering (PWS)

Chapter 2. Diagnosis of Persons with Stuttering (PWS)

Chapter 3. Systemic Therapy of Persons with Stuttering (PWS)

Chapter 4. Pharmacological Basis for Therapy of People who Stutter - Past, Present and Future (Dariusz Pawlak, Tomasz Kamiñski)

Chapter 5. Case Studies and Interviews

Appendix: Methods of Diagnosing People who Stutter

About the Author


“Professor Zbigniew Tarkowski has been researching and effectively treating stuttering for many years. Contrary to a popular nihilist approach, he refuses to accept stuttering and make it fluent. Instead, he believes in the idea of shaping motivation to therapy and applying effective methods of treatment. He supports a systems therapy aimed at problems faced by a patient or his/her social environment. The comprehensive therapeutic method applied by Tarkowski influences the four key parts of the structure of stuttering: speech disfluency, logophobia, muscle tension and readiness to communicate. Tarkowski values in-depth diagnosis embedded in therapy and offers a number of useful techniques to be applied every day. The book is a polemic which encourages one to review their beliefs and offers an optimistic perspective for the future.” - Dr. Hab. Grażyna Jastrzębowska, University of Opole, Opole, Poland

“In my opinion, the publication of A New Approach to Stuttering: Diagnosis and Therapy is a very good idea. Its systemic approach to persons who stutter will enrich the publishing marketing by providing a testimony of paradigmatic changes in logopaedic therapy and diagnosis of PWSs. The contents of the book are extremely valuable.” - Ewa M. Skorek, Warsaw, Poland

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Chapter 5:
Logue M., Conradi P. (2011), The King’s Speech. Warszawa: Świat Książki.
Tarkowski Z. (2010,) Stuttering. A book of questions and answers. Gdańsk: Wydawnictwo Harmonia.
Tarkowski Z., Humeniuk E., Dunaj J. (2012), Stuttering in preschool age. Olsztyn : Wydawnictwo UWM.

Although the book has been written primarily for speech therapists, it may be interesting for clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists as well. I hope that persons with stuttering and their families will also want to read it, especially if the current therapy they participate in does not bring the expected results. Other institutions which might find the book interesting include logopaedic societies and speech pathologists from most of the countries, universities with faculties or departments of speech disorders, language or communication as well as institutions that offer therapy for disfluent speakers of different age.

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