How to make groups work

For adults who stutter the path to recovery is often long and difficult (as with any chronic behavioural problem)

It helps to develop a support network

  • Information from books, internet etc.
  • Friends and family
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Self help/ Support group

Strength of group

  • Learn from others
  • Practice and develop skills
  • Gain encouragement
  • Gain validation

Weakness of group

  • Dependent on Leadership skills
  • Subject to personality clashes /negative group dynamics

Types of Groups

  • Self Help – share experiential knowledge, role play
  • Support – controlled by professional

Self Help Groups –developmental stages and classification

  1.  victim
  2.  survivor
  3.  mature – either Dogmatists
    or  THRIVERS (continue to embrace new knowledge and grow)

What  YOU can do to ensure your group is a THRIVER

  1. Make your contribution to group
  2. Listen well
  3. Encourage development of others
  4. If you have a problem with someone –deal with that person directly           (don’t complain to someone else)
  5. Continue to work on your own goals
    (remember its easier to change the world than change yourself)
  6.  When you have achieved your goals move on: allow development of others

What the GROUP can do to ensure it is a THRIVER

  • Appoint leadership committee (President, Vice –President, Treasurer, Secretary.)
  • Set annual goals
  • Welcome and encourage new members (advertise, networking)
  • Set up mentor system
  • Have some separate social gatherings/ events  (HAVE FUN)

How to make meeting work

  • Notify members of agenda prior to meeting
  • Set and rotate roles for each meeting (Chairman, Evaluators, Time keeper, Minutes secretary.)

Suggestions for Exercises within Meeting

  • Discussion –determine individual hierarchies of difficulty.
  • Talk about week/fortnight – (time limit )
  • Talk about new information –therapy ideas
  • Reading –prose or poetry
  • Impromptu speaking – e.g.. government policy, environment, sports etc
  • Debates e.g.. “that fame is the spur”, “that he who hesitates is lost” etc
  • Joke telling
  • Prepared Speeches – 5-7 minutes, (consider Toastmasters Inc. affiliation)

  1. Personal Introduction
  2. Something I feel passionate about
  3. Vocal Variety
  4. Work with Words
  5. Use of Props –visual aids, O/H projector, PowerPoint.
  6. Speaking to Persuade
  7. Speaking to Motivate
  8. Speaking to Entertain
  • Evaluations – Validation as successful Communicators is VITAL for PWS. (Members evaluate others using a  Commend Recommend Commend sandwich –e.g.. “Your enthusiasm was infectious and you spoke with obvious sincerity (COMMEND). My point of recommendation is to hold eye contact for 5-10 seconds rather than sweep the room or read with head down (RECOMMEND). In my view the strength of your speech was your clarity and vocal variety. (COMMEND)”