Two philosophies that have had a profound influence on my thinking and work are the person centred approach and the social model of disability.
I am drawn to the person centred approach to therapy because it is based on the idea that we are all unique and the true experts on ourselves. It follows that each of us has the ability to live our lives to our full potential and, in the context of genuine, trusting and non-judgemental relationships, can draw on our own resources and creativity to navigate any challenges we encounter along the way. My aim is to offer you a warm, supportive and confidential therapeutic relationship in which you can harness this potential and resourcefulness within yourself.
The social model frames disability as a political issue of inclusion and exclusion rather than in medical terms. This has challenged me to question society’s assumed norms and understanding of stammering in terms of personal deficit and tragedy. The social model has encouraged me to embrace ideas that promote thinking against the grain and pushed me to critically examine my attitudes, beliefs and assumptions about otherness, difference and disability. This has involved actively reflecting on and questioning my motives for the work that I do. Such contemplation has enabled me to articulate my philosophy of stammering therapy more clearly: to reduce social- and self-oppression by identifying, challenging and dismantling environmental and attitudinal barriers so that people can live choice-fully and stammer openly, confidently and without shame.
My engagement with the social model of disability has sparked a broader interest in disability studies, the neurodiversity paradigm, stammering-affirming therapy and anti-ableist practice.