Thursday, November 17, 2005

Transfer-Wk 2, Thurs-Demosthenes Society, Follow up, & Toastmasters

On Saturday, I went to a Demosthenes Society meeting (a PFSP support group). I wasn’t sure if I would like it, since I was a member after my therapy in 1993, and really didn’t find it very helpful. To my surprise; this time I found it very helpful to be immersed into an environment where fluency shaping targets are the main focus and spontaneous speech is frowned upon.

Actually, the rest of the day, after the Demosthenes Society meeting, was the best day I’ve had since finishing at the clinic. I also volunteered to help fix a problem on their website and call people before the next meeting. I feel, helping to call people before the next meeting will be a good transfer opportunity. Although, it has crossed my mind, I may not still feel that way in January and then I’ll be in trouble. But hey! …. That’s loser talk! Since the only way I would not still feel the same in January, is if I lost control of my speech. So I’m pretty comfortable with my decision to volunteer.

Yesterday, I took one of my clients and a few members of his staff for lunch as a thank you for allowing me to work from their office while in therapy. It saved me a lot of time, and he wouldn’t accept rent or even a discount on future work, so it was the least I could do. As a derived benefit, lunch would also be a good transfer for my targets, but alas, my target execution was poor.

After lunch, I went to the clinic, where we had our weekly follow up. I went in there feeling pretty lousy … a bit embarrassed and ashamed actually, since I have not been using my controlled fluency all the time. I frequently forget to use my new skills, and my record keeping has been weak due to a lack of organization. Also, my weak target execution over lunch didn’t help either.

But once the meeting got going, I realized the need to just put it behind me and make sure the next week is better. I’ve got to go to the dollar store and buy a notepad, since I quickly forget my missed targets, 2 minutes after a transfer.

And last night, I went to a Toastmasters meeting, where I stood up in front of 15-20 people and spoke several times. The members were very welcoming and immediately helped me feel at ease. I was not at all nervous, although it did take me a while to get my head around what was going on.

My target execution was successful for the most part, and I felt comfortable using my targets. But I have to admit, I felt weird self-correcting poorly executed targets, and even when I did it, I was unable to self-correct to the point of excellence.

If you are not familiar with Toastmasters, there is a part of the meeting called Table Topics, and from what I can gather, topics are thrown out, and you can stand up and discuss it for a minute. Well I tried it, and was unable to go longer than 25 seconds. Further proof that my stutter is not my only communication liability.

I didn’t join Toastmaster last night, but probably will next week.

Not meant as advice, please find a qualified therapist if you are interested in similar therapy.


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