My name is Yusuke, and I am 37 years old, married with one daughter. I have a Ph.D. in Psychology and am a University Professor living in the Middle Atlantic States. I am originally from Japan and moved to the U.S. when I was 19. I have been a stutterer since age 8 as far as I can remember. I stuttered here and there when I was asked to recite in a classroom, obviously not in perfect fluency mainly due to blocking and repetition of the first word of each utterance. Combined with my perfectionism, low self-esteem, and constant worry about how I am viewed (a common combination of characteristics of stutterers), I struggled to force words out in both formal and casual situations, ultimately slowly avoiding these circumstances.
I have not had any speech therapy except English pronunciation courses that I took at college. Over the years, my stuttering waned a bit and by my high school age, I adaptively learned how to dodge my stuttering to a point where no one notices (though I had been still struggling in my mind). Now I look back, I did have several bad incidents when I made my presentations under high pressure during my college, where my main symptom was blocking and uncomfortably long silence.
In 2020, soon after the breakout of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, I started blocking hard again on certain words and perceiving increased levels of fear in public speaking or even casual conversations with strangers. My stuttering was getting progressively worse. I suspected it was due to various changes in the daily environment surrounding us during the lock-down, emotionally and socially. As I felt my fear growing and growing uncontrollably, due to my ignorance, I was desperate for help. I googled how to cure stuttering and got Lee’s book in 2021 only because it had high ratings. I started reading it and immediately thought it was THE book that I was looking for. The book and Lovett’s method offer practical solutions to approach each stuttering using Crutches and (blocking) and pre-stuttering (rising fear) using affirmations. I started using them and, as I noted elsewhere, they substantially improved my speech, mainly eliminating many blocks and partly giving a relief that the technique is available to me when I need it.
I found Lee’s email address in the book and with some hesitation, I emailed him because I would best understand his method by directly learning from him and his team. Lee emailed me back immediately and kindly offered a coaching session in the fall of 2021. His coaching sessions are not only informative but challenging and supportive and offer holistic solutions, and target stuttering issues at hand every time we meet and thus improving my overall progress toward fluency. Most importantly, he strives to encourage me to work hard until I love to speak. I am getting there, Coach Lee.
Following his method, I read aloud, practice one crutch each day, give myself Auto Suggestion Treatment twice a day, and bonus treatments whenever I feel I am about to feel fear. My speech is much better than ever before, I no longer have any stuttering in my daily conversations or in my lectures at University (which was my biggest problem), and I am confident that my speech continues to improve as long as I stay in the program and do my hard work faithfully.
My journey with stuttering so far has come to a turning point where I feel blessed and hopeful more than cursed and hopeless. I no longer appear to be speech disabled. My fears continue to plague me.
Coach Lee’s method is not only making my speech better but myself a better, happier person and has elevated my life. This whole experience with Coach Lee and World Stop Stuttering Association has been truly inspirational so far, and I thank you Coach Lee and many PWSSs who reached out to me, encourage me and share your experiences and stories with me. Yes, it is challenging but worth the effort. I hope you will join us and beat it, too.
Yusuke, University Professor, April 2022