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Full text of "Stamering And Cognate Defects Of Speech Vol - Ii"

PSYCHOLOGICAL METHODS                233

occasionally a somnambulic) condition by suggestions
of sleep, by passes, by being required to fixate an ob-
ject, etc. He is then given suggestions of his con-
fidence and ability to speak. If somnambulic, he
may be required to converse with, or read to? the
person conducting the treatment.

A German teacher that places great reliance upon
hypnotism writes thus of its efficacy :

"The treatment of stammering by means of hypnotic sug-
gestion commends itself as an exclusively psychological method;

and as such, it offers essential advantages. First, sleep exerts
so beneficial an influence on the nervous and excitable nature of
the stammerer, and so counteracts his characteristic disquietude,
haste, and fear, that speech-disturbances almost invariably
vanish during hypnosis. And further, the influences em-
ployed to combat the thought of stammering are usually ac-
cepted without criticism in the deeper stages of sleep; and the
auto-suggestive nature of the difficulty — the stammerer's
belief in his inability to talk —• is removed more rapidly than
would be the case with any other form of treatment. We
have already noted what labor and pains the so-called *en-
vironal stammerer*l occasions the teacher when other systems
are employed* With such patients, hypnotic suggestion af-
fords the only effective treatment; and, moreover, the work is
greatly simplified for both pupil and teacher. The latter need
no longer follow each step of the pupil, for the factors and sit-
uations that the pupil fears can be attacked by suggestion."f

l"Situatwns»$t0tterer"-~(>nt that speaks fluently in the Institu-
tion and with friends, but stammers in certain difficult situations*
2 From the prospectus of a German stammering-school.