Speech Therapy -> Fluency -> Desensitization


Desensitization refers to the process of reducing emotional responses to a stimulus, event, or situation through repeated exposure. This process can be achieved through exposing an individual to the event or situation in a controlled environment. The exposure can then gradually expand over time to include a broader set of individuals, different settings, and more challenging situations. For example, if the situation that provokes an emotional response is stuttering openly in front of someone, a first step to desensitization could be stuttering in front of a trusted friend or SLP. The next step could be stuttering in front of a small group of friends, then a group of acquaintances, then eventually a large group, etc.

Related Disorder(s)

  • Stuttering and other fluency disorders - A fluency disorder is an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and disfluencies (e.g., repetitions of sounds, syllables, words, and phrases; sound prolongations; and blocks), which may also be accompanied by excessive tension, speaking avoidance, struggle behaviors, and secondary mannerisms (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA], 1993). People with fluency disorders also frequently experience psychological, emotional, social, and functional impacts as a result of their communication disorder (Tichenor & Yaruss, 2019a). Stuttering is the most common fluency disorder.