Frequently Asked Questions for City Lit Stammering Therapy Classes

Do ‘stammering’ and ‘stuttering’ mean the same thing?

Yes, the terms mean exactly the same. In the UK, we tend to use the term ‘stammering’, whereas in the US, ‘stuttering’ tends to be used. For the purposes of this FAQ, we will use the word ‘stammering’.

How do I decide which course is right for me?

We’ll help you find the right course by arranging to meet you for a free advisory session.  We also offer advisory sessions over the telephone/video call, if more convenient. At this advisory session, we’ll find out more about you, your pattern of stammering and how stammering affects you. We will advise you on the most suitable course for you, provide you with further  information about our courses and  answer any questions you might have. This meeting will last for approximately 45 minutes. Please email: speechtherapy@citylit.ac.uk or telephone 0207 492 2578 to arrange an appointment.

What if I actually stammer very little, but find myself ‘holding back’ through fear of stammering?

Many people who stammer have high levels of fluency, but habitually conceal the fact that they stammer. Stammering may be concealed in a number of ways, such as avoiding words that are difficult to say, avoiding introductions, not  speaking out in groups. This is often accompanied by strong negative feelings about stammering and is therefore known as ‘covert’ or ‘interiorised stammering’.

We run evening classes specifically tailored to those with a more ‘interiorised stammer’. 

What courses are available and when do these take place?

We offer a range of daytime and evening courses for adults who stammer. Our Stage 1 courses are for those who have not previously attended our classes. These may also be relevant if you have had speech therapy elsewhere as an adult.  Stage 1 courses can be taken as a weekly evening class or as a 7-day daytime intensive class. Our Stage 2 courses are offered as shorter evening classes or daytime/weekend workshops. These courses are aimed at  those who have previously attended a course at City Lit  or have received speech therapy elsewhere. Our Stage 2 courses are on a range of topics, such as public speaking, interview skills and mindfulness. We also schedule regular refresher courses that you can attend in the evenings or the daytime. Visit our speech therapy homepage for full details.

Can I get financial help with the cost of the course and/or travel costs?

Yes. If you are eligible, you can apply for a student bursary to help towards  the fees of the course.  If you receive any kind of income-based benefit, you may qualify for our concessionary fee. Concessionary fees are available for most of our courses.  You may also be able to get help with travel costs . Course fees can also be paid in instalments. Please take a look at the Help Centre section of our website for further information.

How many people are in each class?

Our class sizes are small with up to 10 students in each class along with a speech therapist. This means that you can get individualised help from a speech therapist and it also gives you the opportunity to work with other students in pairs or small groups.

What efforts are made to make the therapy sessions feel safe and comfortable for everyone attending?

Many people tell us that they were anxious before coming to the first session of a course. Often this is due to the fear of the unexpected. We make every effort to make everyone feel comfortable and people consistently tell us how relaxed they felt in the group after a very short period of time.

What is the advantage of being in a group rather than seeing a speech therapist one to one?

From our many years’ experience of working with adults who stammer, we are convinced that working in a group together with others who stammer is the best way to make lasting changes to your speech and how you manage stammering. Research studies back the importance of working with others who stammer and it is something our students consistently rank among one of the most valuable aspects of our courses.

Do the speech therapists/teachers have experience of stammering themselves?

Some of the speech therapists in our team stammer themselves and have previously attended our courses here at City Lit. Their positive experience of coming here has inspired them to train as speech therapists and to work here on an ongoing basis. We view this as a real strength that brings an added layer of experience to our programme. Read more about the speech therapy team.

Will I be in a classroom?

For a large part of the time you’ll be working in a classroom, but you won’t be sitting in rows! You’ll work in pairs and in small groups as well as in the whole group. You’ll also do some outside work- this is an important part of helping you transfer what you’ve learnt into the real world. It may seem a bit challenging at first, but you’re given lots of help and support with this and people who’ve taken part in our courses report back that this is a very helpful and enjoyable way of making progress.

What will I cover on the course?

You’ll learn about your own particular pattern of stammering and what changes you can make to develop easier speech with less tension.  You’ll develop your understanding of  avoidance and the role it plays in maintaining stammering and how you can work on gradually reducing your avoidance.  You’ll get a clearer idea about how you’re thinking and feeling about stammering and learn how to manage your thoughts and feelings more easily through cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness work.   You’ll be taught techniques to help you deal with moments of stammering in an easier way and will have plenty of opportunities to practise speaking using these techniques.

Will I need to do work to do between classes?

Yes, there will be some work between sessions. We know that it’s important that you apply what you learn in the classroom to your everyday life and so we’ll help you to set goals for yourself to carry out between classes.

What progress/changes will I be able to see?

You are likely to notice a number of changes such as becoming a more confident speaker and developing strategies and techniques to help you speak more easily. You’re also likely to notice how your attitude to stammering begins to change quite early on in the course and this can make speaking significantly easier. You’ll begin to avoid less and find yourself speaking more.  Your knowledge of stammering will expand and you’ll increase your understanding of your own pattern of stammering. This will help you to make long lasting changes  both to how you speak and how you feel about speaking. We know that our courses help people to make significant progress- you can read about how we continually monitor progress here.

How will my progress be monitored?

Your progress will be measured in a number of ways. You’ll be given feedback by your speech therapist, you will set goals and you will also complete self-evaluation and questionnaires to track your progress.

What help can I receive after my course?

Upon completing your course with us, you’ll have developed a greater understanding of your stammering and will have a range of tools you can use in your everyday life as well as in more pressured situations. We’ll be available to offer on-going support and can also advise you about our range of Stage 2 courses.

For further information on our courses, our team and how we work, please also visit our website:

https://www.citylit.ac.uk/courses/specialist-learning/speech-therapy