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This event is free and open to the public.

When I first came to AIS as a client, I began to see that the most challenging aspects of stuttering for me were not the disfluencies, but rather the fact that stuttering was preventing me from making friends, holding me back in school, and affecting my self-confidence. Being exposed to these feared situations, and working on desensitization, was the most beneficial thing I had ever done in therapy. For the first time, rather than obsessing over what my speech sounded like, I was able to say whatever I wanted without fear. Stuttering, and trying not to stutter, no longer controlled me. Based on my experience and clinical practice as an SLP, I decided to attend graduate school to explore changes in anxiety and distress when people who stutter are exposed to anxiety provoking situations, and when asked to voluntarily stutter.

In this talk, we will discuss the current state of research looking at the impact of desensitization and exposure therapy on the lived experience of stuttering, how to incorporate these principles in the therapy process, and ultimately, how to maintain reductions in fear and anxiety when approaching challenging speaking situations.

There will be plenty of time for participants to share their own experiences with desensitization and facing fear!

Caryn Herring, M.S., CCC-SLP is a person who stutters, an AIS alum (2007), an SLP, and a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University. Caryn’s research is related to the process of desensitization and the role of voluntary stuttering. She co-hosts StutterTalk’s B-Team and is on the chairperson of the board of directors of Friends – The National Association of Young People Who Stutter. Caryn is actively involved with SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young and the National Stuttering Association.