Counseling Issues: Addressing Behavioral and Emotional Considerations in the Treatment of Communication Disorders

  • Aaron Lieberman
  • American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2018, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • DOI: 10.1044/2017_ajslp-16-0149

Positively and effectively responding to emotional reactions to speech-language issues/ treatment.

What is it about?

This tutorial explains common emotional and behavioral reactions people may have about their speech, or other communication difficulties, and explains how these reactions may interfere with gaining success in their treatment efforts. The article intends to help the speech professional, and even the client, identify these possibly harmful responses and it provides approaches to reducing damaging impacts to achieve a quicker and more successful resolution of any communication problem.

Why is it important?

ASHA, the national organization representing speech pathologists now requires the inclusion of client counseling for reducing the potential negative impact of clients’ emotional feelings and reactions to having a speech difficulty or to engaging in treatment for such issues. Research indicates a lack of training, skill, or comfort on the part of speech pathologists in recognizing and addressing these reactions that have been demonstrated to have a strong effect on treatment and on the daily life of the affected person. This article aims to provide a foundation for understanding and positively addressing such feelings and responses.


Dr. Aaron Lieberman

Having given presentations and workshops on these issues to both parents and communication disorder professionals, I became very aware of the need and desire on the part of both groups for greater knowledge and skill in recognizing and dealing with these potentially impactful issues. Feedback and reaction from both parents and professionals has inspired me to pull this article together to try to fill this important need.

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