Stammering is not something to be worried about if you’re a kid. But Keerti*, a 39-year-old woman struggled with speech stammering since her childhood. She was extremely ashamed about it and didn’t know what to do.

Once she came in and started talking about her life to one of our in-house psychologists, our psychologist came to know about her life history and realized that Keerti* struggled a lot with self-compassion. Keerti* mentioned that ‘everything in her life was perfect and the stammering was something that tarnished the perfection.’ From the next session onwards, our psychologist focused on reviving compassion in her life and emphasizing that stammering wasn’t something she needed to be ashamed of. When Keerti* struggled with enabling compassion in her life, the psychologist helped restructure the way she viewed her stammering. Although it was hard to change overnight, this insight helped Keerti* understand that as a child experiencing distress stammering was bound to happen but she wasn’t a child anymore.

In the next few sessions, they practiced how to calm unhelpful thoughts and focus on rational thinking. Keerti* benefitted from the sessions and was much less ashamed of her stammering. Whenever Keerti* felt the shame cropping up, she would use the techniques she was taught during the sessions. A focus on mindfulness techniques was suggested to refocus on acceptance on an everyday basis which will help her in the future too. Over time, Keerti’s* fear of stammering and her notions of perfectionism reduced therefore helping her overall stammering as well.

(*name changed for anonymity)