Edmonton institute helps people with stutters see themselves differently

A pilot study at the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research is using videos to help people who stutter.
Mill Woods Pastor Tim Sesink says video self-modeling helped him deal with his stuttering 1:04

A pilot study at the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research is using videos to help people who stutter.

Like athletes watching and analysing their game performances, video self-modelling is a tool to help people who struggle to speak fluently, said Marilyn Langevin, the institute's director of research.

The videos allow user to watch themselves speak with any stutters edited out.

The technology is used as reinforcement, to remind people that they do have the ability to speak fluently, she said.

Tim Sesink, a pastor at Calvary Community Church in Mill Woods, has struggled with fluency skills all his life.

He's one of three clients using the self-modelling treatment, and said it has helped him immensely.

"They tape me and then they edit the video to take out any of the non-fluent parts," he said. "So then what I do is, when I go back into my everyday life, I watch the video twice a week and the video models for me what fluency is like."

Sesink said speaking to his congregation can sometimes be a challenge, so nine months ago he started therapy.

"It really allows you to see yourself doing the task excellently, whereas the more traditional methods are practise and continuing to practise certain phrases or certain tools. Where with VSM, it actually models for you what  it looks like … and seeing yourself doing it."

With the success of the pilot project, the institute hopes to bring video therapy to more people.

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