The role of attention in therapy for stuttering
My interest in the process of attention in stuttering therapy stems initially from a background in CBT and the information-processing theory and models which underpin CBT. These theoretical models propose that biases in what individuals attend to contribute to the mechanisms involved in uncomfortable human emotions such as anxiety. Our understanding of the nature and influence of attentional biases involved in social anxiety, emotional regulation, resilience and stuttering, is developing.
The use of CBT in stuttering therapy is now main-stream. More recently, '3rd generation' or mindfulness-based approaches have developed within CBT and been applied in stuttering therapy. These approaches are also concerned with how information is attended to, based on the potential value of observing internal and external information that arises from a perspective of curiosity and acceptance. Attention processes are implicitly if not explicitly involved in other psychological approaches used in therapy for stuttering, such as Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Attention processes also impact in various ways in traditional fluency therapy and are involved in all interpersonal dynamics within therapy.
My intention in this presentation is to explore selected aspects of the role played by attention within stuttering therapy. I will draw from theory and research from the fields of information-processing, mindfulness-based approaches and emotion-regulation, as well as clinical and qualitative accounts of the experience of stuttering.
Keywords: Stuttering, Attention, Information-processing, Mindfulness-based approaches
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