Q&A with City Lit Speech Therapy student James Davies about his new book Body

Q&A with City Lit Speech Therapy student James Davies about his new book Body

1 September 2022
Posted in: Stories

— City Lit catches up with James Davies, former Speech Therapy student at City Lit

  • We find out more about his time at City Lit and his new book Body

Body by James Davies


Body by James Davies is published by HQ, HarperCollins on the 1st September in hardback, eBook and audiobook.

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Q: Tell us a bit more about your time at City Lit?

A: My time at City Lit was life-changing. I suffered from stammering all my life, and around a year ago, I decided to write a book. In previous years my stammer had improved, mainly through trial and error and just getting on with it. But I still had a stumbling block in terms of having bad days where I couldn’t get certain words out in conversation, and every moment of talking was exhausting. So, I decided this was the time to get the best expert advice.

With this new opportunity of writing a book, I needed to face my fears. I needed answers to why I stammer, strategies to help deal with my stammer, and also to address my fear of public speaking. I was advised by a speech therapist in the first session with her to enrol on the stammering course, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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Q: How did the courses help you achieve your goals and dreams?

A: Firstly, it helped connect me with course members who had the same struggles as me. I finally met people who could relate to my situation, which I never imagined would happen because most people don’t understand my type of stammer. The course also helped identify my type of stammer. I could then apply strategies tailored to my covert stammer and modify my speech.

Most importantly, I stopped being so hard on myself when I had bad days, which is something

I had been struggling with for many years.

Q: What did you enjoy most about studying at City Lit?

A: Every Monday for six months, there was a set routine where I would meet up with the other course members who I had formed an amazing attachment with. It became habitual, and I learned so much about myself in the process.

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Photographer: George Brobbey
James Davies -  former Speech Therapy student at City LitJames Davies -  former Speech Therapy student at City Lit
James Davies - former Speech Therapy student at City Lit

Q: Tell us a bit more about your book Body?

A: I come from a background of treating elite athletes and sportspeople, but I wrote this book for everyone who wants to improve their overall health and wellbeing. We all suffer from twinges and aches, but what we don’t realise is that they are actually messages from our body that it needs our attention. As a therapist, I only have two hands, and I knew that if I wrote a book, I could help a wider audience.

I want the reader to understand what pain, stress, and anxiety are and what we can do to help relieve them. My ultimate aim is that this book will be on everyone’s shelf at home or in their workspace, and they will refer to it whenever they feel a new ache or pain. I want to help people become their own pain detectives so they can participate in their diagnosis and treatment. There is so much we can do at home to aid our recovery, and I provide tips and guidance on this in the book. Through my 360 roadmap, we can all incorporate a few small adjustments into our daily lives that will see us living pain-free into our older years.

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Q: Anything else you would like to share with us?

A: I’ve had a successful career as an osteopath for nearly fifteen years and achieved my dream of being a Team GB therapist at the Olympics. I’m also lucky to have worked with people from all walks of life, including film and TV stars. I did this all while having a stammer when even the effort of speaking at times would exhaust me.

I have managed my stammer well over the years, but it only finally improved after I started taking care of myself. As well as enrolling on the City Lit course, I finally allowed myself to set aside time to do breathwork, ice baths every morning and saunas when I had the chance. This all contributed to creating a state of calm that helped ease my stammer. It allowed me to worry less and focus on what is really important in life.

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