Read HCRI Reviews from Past Stuttering Therapy Participants

INTRODUCTION

At Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), our team members have dedicated their careers to helping individuals who stutter open new doors of opportunity through fluency. We began in 1972 by researching stuttering and inventing the world’s first comprehensive, behavioral stuttering therapy. Since that time, we have continually enhanced our 12-day immersion treatment by incorporating learning from our new discoveries and technological advancements. Today, HCRI therapy delivers among the highest documented fluency outcomes for stuttering treatment.

ReviewsIn addition to our persistent investigation of stuttering and analyses of HCRI’s program, we seek ongoing feedback from our stuttering therapy clients. This input is invaluable as we continually elevate our therapy offerings.

Along the way, our clients also post HCRI reviews about their experiences with our program and our team. We are humbled by the comments written about our therapy and would like to take this opportunity to share the reviews we received in the past month.

These reviews represent a compilation of what has been posted in the past 30 days on Google, Facebook, and the Better Business Bureau site. In addition, we have included two reviews that were mailed directly to us this month.

HCRI REVIEWS

This program is difficult, like most things that are worth it. They taught me the skills and techniques to speak fluently, and I would recommend this to anyone who is willing to put in the effort and dedication. It gave me newfound confidence in my vocal abilities, and myself as a person.
     -Iain Mayer


 

If you have a stutter and want to learn real ways to overcome it, then why go anywhere else? I went from the kid who stutters to the kid who is fluent in 12 days. Now I am not saying it’s easy by any imagination but this is the pinnacle. And I urge you to come here if you stutter at all
     – Carl Stewart II


 

Very professional setting with highly skilled clinicians and office staff. You are taught a variety of techniques that will help you succeed in fluent speaking. I highly recommend this program for anyone who stutters. With hard work and dedication this program will make you fluent.
     -Ernie B.


 

Going to HCRI was a great experience and helped me achieve a much higher level of fluency than I ever thought was possible.
     -John Tamisiea


 

HCRI really helped me develop new skills and strategies to cope with my stutter. Although I am still working on developing fluent speech every day, I’m glad I got the opportunity to come. This program requires a lot of work and dedication, but overall, it was worth it.
     -Sophie Thelk


 

Excellent program. You will be fluent when you complete the program, however; it takes a lot of work to remain fluent. You must practice daily to remain proficient in the tools that are taught. I completed the program about a year ago. It has been a life changer for me especially for job interviews. HCRI provides an abundance of support once you complete the program to help you remain on course and fluent.
     -Morgan M.


 

Like others have said, it’s a very difficult program. While I was there, it worked beautifully. My friends and family talking to me on the phone were very impressed. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick because I had way too many problems that took my focus away from it…

The reason I’m giving such a high rating even though it didn’t work for me is that I’ve seen it help people even after they left. So it works, but it’s certainly not for everybody. In addition, the staff there is amazing – some of the kindest staff ever. Especially the office manager Linda… who helps you sign up and you see daily. Maybe someday after I get my life together, I will be back, till then keep on helping people HCRI.
     -J. T.


 

Highly professional and true to their words. If you work hard with their clinicians, you will definitely be fluent by the end of their program. I highly recommend them.
     -James A.


 

I have stuttered since childhood and been in and out of speech therapy with very little improvement. Nothing has helped me as much as HCRI. I feel like I finally have a voice and it has changed my life significantly for the better! I wish I had attended much sooner in life. I’m very thankful for HCRI. It is a very supportive and encouraging environment. It’s also wonderful to meet and spend time with fellow stutterers. I could not have found a better speech therapy program. Thanks HCRI
     -Kate Moschak


 

I attended HCRI first in the mid-nineties and have taken a couple of refresher courses in the last 10 years. The biggest effect that Hollins has had on me was to make me realize that I had the ability to speak fluently – and that there was nothing inherently wrong with my speech apparatus.

I learned how to articulate and voice every type of sound we use in speech. It was an amazing feeling when I walked out after the course with full confidence that I could speak fluently. That belief is what keeps me practicing whenever I feel myself drifting back to old habits. The staff at HCRI is fantastic. Definitely life changing for me personally.
     -Chetan Cariappa


 

I highly recommend Hollins Communications Research Institute for the specialized treatment of stuttering. I attended the program in 1992 and still speak fluently today. It was the only speech therapy program that ever helped me long term to speak fluently and hundreds of other graduates have told me the same thing about their experience. I have been able to use my speaking skills to fulfill my career aspirations and I even formed an alumni practice group in the NYC area. Attending HCRI was the best decision I ever made to improve my speech…
     -Russell Weiser


 

As far as I’m concerned, HCRI is the gold standard for helping stutterers become fluent. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone searching for a way to overcome their stutter. It has helped me immensely.
     -Raphael Rosen


 

The following comments were received by our office in the past month from former therapy participants.

HCRI was transforming not only for my speech but for my life overall. Within the first 2 days I could feel 55 years of tension and tightness dissipating in my body. My wife could hear immediately on the phone the early changes in my speech. …I was definitely fluent by graduation. The post-graduation support is what insures continued fluency. Phone and email contact with my clinician, Holly, on a regular basis allow for feedback and suggestions for fine tuning my practice sessions and speaking techniques. “Hollins Fluency System II” is simply the most advanced and successful therapy program for stutterers on the planet!

In addition to normal conversational speech, I have successfully spoken to and taken questions from as many as 500 people in concert halls on stage. I have also been filmed in interviews and have been a guest on live network television, successfully answering questions and commenting with wonderful fluency. I have shared with only a very few new friends that I was a stutterer – and when I do they about stand back and fall down.
     -Richard Sortomme


 

Having fluent speech after years of not having it changes everything you’re used to. You have more confidence interacting with others. Where in the past I wouldn’t start conversations – or if I had to be involved in one – I would try to avoid hard words. I now express ideas and thoughts that I didn’t in the past.

I had tried other programs in the past and none worked for me. HCRI changed my life. The clinicians really do care. If you do your part by doing the work, you can become fluent. It takes commitment on your part, but it’s worth it. I would encourage anyone who stutters to seriously consider HCRI. They have a proven track record and they tell you up front what you have to do. I would definitely give them a thumbs up and rate them at 5 stars.
     -M. C. Bennett

 

ABOUT HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

Words of Advice from Past HCRI Clients to Incoming Stuttering Therapy Participants

Following are insights provided by stuttering therapy clients who completed their 12-day intensive treatment at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – stuttering.org) in Roanoke, Virginia.

HCRI therapy adviceAt the end of their HCRI therapy program, clients were asked to write a few words of advice for individuals who are preparing to come to the national stuttering therapy center. Here’s what they shared.

Advice from Past Clients

“Leave the past behind. We all have a new life in front of us. We all have the ability to move forward. This is going to change your life forever. No one is worth it more than you. Believe in the program and in yourself, this will lead to a lifetime of success.”

“We may not choose to stutter but we choose to be fluent. Realize the choice and invest in yourself.”

“Take these 12 days to disconnect from the rest of your life and focus on the one aspect that has troubled you for so long. It will take 100% of your effort but… you are one step closer to commanding your fluency.”

“We didn’t say it was going to be easy. We said it’s going to be worth it.”

“You have already made the effort to change your life by coming [to HCRI], that right there shows so much in yourself. Don’t give up you can change your life.”

“The journey to fluency may not be easy but there is light at the end of the tunnel. That light is called fluency!”

“Focus on where you are now going, the possibilities ahead of you, not where you have been.”

“This can be a turning point in your life. For me I know it will be because I will practice as much as the clinicians tell me. If you make the same wise choice, you will be limitless.”

“This program works, I know. I was once where you are. I beat stuttering and here’s what it takes: Practice – Patience – Perseverance – Payoff!”

About HCRI Stuttering Therapy

HCRI’s program is a science-based, immersion therapy that teaches individuals  how to control stuttering by replacing faulty muscle movements that give rise to stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech.

For 12 days, therapy participants work in a small group setting and are guided by specially trained clinicians who teach skills that help individuals overcome stuttering and speak fluently. HCRI’s therapy technology is used in the treatment process to help individuals acquire fluency with greater ease and precision. Therapy takes place in the clinical environment, as well as in real-world settings.

By the end of 12 days, research demonstrates that 93 percent of participants achieve fluent speech. Follow-up studies reveal that 70 to 75 percent of clients maintain their fluency skills when evaluated one and two years post therapy.

Watch before-and-after therapy videos >>

To learn more about HCRI’s  stuttering therapy approach, send an email or call us at 855-236-7032.  

To begin your journey to fluency with HCRI, complete a therapy application.  Then, a member of HCRI’s team will reach out to discuss next steps and schedule your therapy session. 

 

Why HCRI for Stuttering Therapy?

Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.
Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.

This article by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., president of Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), discusses why individuals who stutter turn to HCRI to treat their speech condition and achieve fluency.

Most of our clients are weary of stuttering when they first reach out to HCRI for help. They are tired of the frustrations, the uncertainties about the impact their stuttering has on others – and for many, the persistent lack of success they have experienced with previous therapies. They are just normal people who sometimes have trouble speaking. And, by the completion of our 12-day stuttering therapy, they became normal people who can speak fluently and spontaneously.

HCRI offers a better than 90% chance that new clients will achieve fluent speech by the end of our 12-day program. And, at one- and two-years post HCRI, 70% and 75% respectively are retaining normal fluency. Just as importantly, they experience normal reactions to everyday speaking situations.

Focus on Therapy Excellence

At our Virginia-based center, we developed and administer our stuttering treatment program called Hollins Fluency System III: High Definition Speech Reconstruction for Stuttering. We have learned that for a person to be successful in learning and locking in the behavioral details that actively generate fluent speech, it takes a close-up and personal form of instruction. It also takes an intensive therapy schedule to accomplish the training goals for our program.

We constantly study our program structure, the instruction sets, the electronic components of our system, and the clinician instructions and interactions with our clients. If we find weaknesses in performance within any component of our system, we isolate it, study it, and make corrections. When we discover opportunities that elevate the therapy experience and outcomes, we make enhancements. Our focus is to continually strengthen our therapy for the benefit of the clients we serve.

Our program is validated by the positive results obtained with literally thousands of persons who stutter. We believe that our therapy offers each person who demonstrates developmental stuttering a solid opportunity to become a fluent speaker. After all, we know from direct experience that most individuals who come to HCRI have the motivation and willingness to learn that make them successful within and beyond our program.

Comprehensive Post-Therapy Support

HCRI provides an excellent, multi-faceted package of post-therapy support for each participant. While most program graduates do not require additional help, some benefit from taking advantage of our offerings. For example, there are clinical contacts offered on an as needed basis. We also offer support group participation for persons who benefit from practicing their fluency skills with each other.

We provide each therapy graduate with FluencyNet, a computer-based speech monitoring system for use on their home computer. FluencyNet helps habituate fluency skills taught during therapy by providing users with real-time measurements of speech utterances and immediate, accurate feedback that guides client practice of correct responses. HCRI’s Voice Monitor app for the iPhone puts a “clinician in your pocket” that can be used by clients anywhere to evaluate and practice their fluency skills.

Unmatched Quality and Sophistication

We are not aware of another treatment for stuttering, anywhere in the world, that operates at the levels demonstrated by HCRI’s program. Our clinicians work each year with more persons who stutter than most clinicians are likely to see in a professional lifetime.

For a direct path to improving both your fluency and the quality of your personal life, HCRI provides a comprehensive and successful treatment for stuttering that is:

(1) Delivered within a fixed time frame;
(2) Provided with a known cost; and,
(3) Presented with a known probability of both short-term and long-term positive results.

We provide a unique, comprehensive system for bringing robust, fluent speech to individuals who stutter. We have extensive data that validates the effectiveness of our treatment for stuttering. We can say, with critical accuracy, that we have learned a few important facts about stuttering – and we have assembled them in a solid manner to help people improve the realization of their personal potential through fluent speech.

HCRI Therapy Impact 

The work we do each and every day is designed to achieve the ultimate objective of improving lives through fluency. A recent client survey revealed the following.

  • 96% said our therapy program was worthwhile to them.
  • 79% said their personal happiness and satisfaction increased post therapy.
  • 69% said they improved their social life and relationships after their HCRI experience.
  • 84% reported increased confidence after participating in HCRI stuttering therapy.
  • 78% said HCRI therapy participation helped enhance their quality of life.

Your Choice, Your Future  

If you believe that you can find a more objective and effective treatment for your stuttering, then we recommend you take it. In fact, we encourage individuals to compare therapy programs side-by-side. If you recognize that HCRI offers an important set of advantages, we invite you to come to the institute, do the work, and generate a better quality to your life through fluency.

We always welcome inquiries and questions. We talk with persons who stutter every day and encourage you to reach out at 855-236-7032 or info@stuttering.org. If you would like to submit an application for our therapy program, please click here: Apply to HCRI.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive in Roanoke, Virginia. All therapy is adminstered in Roanoke at our national center.

6 Reasons to Choose HCRI Stuttering Therapy

6 Reasons to Choose HCRIIf you are looking for an effective stuttering therapy where you will acquire lifelong skills to speak confidently and fluently, we invite you to learn more about Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI).

Here are six reasons to choose HCRI’s 12-day stuttering therapy program.

1. UNMATCHED EXPERIENCE
We’ve treated thousands who stutter with our award-winning, science-based therapy. We know precisely what works and what doesn’t when it comes to helping you achieve lasting fluency.

2. PROVEN RESULTS
HCRI therapy has proven, documented fluency outcomes. That means you know your probability of success before therapy: 93% achieve fluent speech in 12 days and 75% retain fluency after two years.

3. WORLD-CLASS CLINICIANS
Our clinicians are the only speech professionals in the world who complete a rigorous, 500-hour training before administering HCRI therapy. That means you benefit from the highest standards of clinical excellence to maximize your fluency results.

4. LIFETIME OF SUPPORT
We are your partner in fluency for life. After your therapy, you benefit from a lifetime of personalized clinical support and practice tools to help you maintain your fluency.

5. REMARKABLE VALUE
At HCRI, you receive 100 hours of therapy for a cost that is about half that of traditional speech therapies. In addition, your path to fluency takes just 12 days.

6. ENHANCED CAREER POTENTIAL
After participating in HCRI therapy, the majority of clients say they were able to advance their careers and earnings.

——-

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients represent all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.  

Founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972, Virginia-based HCRI is an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

For information about the one-of-a-kind, behavioral therapy offered at HCRI, visit www.stuttering.org and/or contact us by email or phone at 855-236-7032.

 

Ambition and Hard Work Enabled Sean Griffin to Achieve Fluency – and Land his Dream Job

Sean Griffin of Princeton, New Jersey had his sights on a career in broadcast journalism when he entered Rutgers University four years ago. To help accomplish his career ambition, he double majored in journalism and sports management.

Adding practical experience to his studies, he volunteered as a play-by-play sports announcer for the university’s radio station, as well as served as an intern for a nationally syndicated morning news show and at SiriusXM.

Sean Griffin
Sean Griffin

Through steadfast motivation and hard work, Sean was on his way to attaining his goal. There was only one thing that stood in his way. His stuttering. Sean characterized his stuttering as a mild-to-moderate condition.

To proactively address his stuttering and prepare for his future career, Sean enrolled in two different speech therapy programs while at college. He experienced some improvement in his fluency after each; yet, the results were not lasting.

Then he learned about Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) and the center’s unique approach to stuttering treatment. HCRI’s 12-day immersion therapy utilizes science and principles of learning to help individuals who stutter acquire skills to control stuttering and speak fluently.

According to HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., “HCRI’s therapy approach is systematic and rigorous. Our specially trained clinicians teach participants step-by-step how to retrain their speech muscles to produce sustained fluent speech.”

Sean found his experience with HCRI stuttering therapy to be challenging, yet rewarding. “I went into the program with the attitude of giving it my all,” he said. “I found the therapy to be intense, but extremely effective.”

What was unexpected for Sean was the welcoming atmosphere at HCRI and all the relationships he made. In addition to connections with HCRI clinicians that continue today, he noted the benefit of getting to know other program participants.

“Meeting other people who stutter gave me a sense of comfort and reinforcement because they were experiencing the same issues as me. I wasn’t alone,” he said.

Sean added, “Since my therapy six months ago, I have become more confident in myself and my speaking abilities. I continue to practice the fluency skills I learned and check in with my clinician regularly.”

Ongoing clinician contact and post-therapy practice are important elements of the HCRI experience. They help clients habituate fluency skills learned during therapy. HCRI provides clients with a comprehensive package of practice tools and support once they complete their 12-day program. This kit includes fluency-practice software, therapy manuals, and a proprietary mobile app that help keep fluency skills on track.

“Finding HCRI has been a true blessing for me. I’ve learned how to manage my stuttering and that has helped me move forward in life,” he added

Since graduating from Rutgers and attending HCRI, Sean started a new chapter in his life. He landed a new job after an extensive interview process that involved face-to-face meetings and testing. He is now working for ABC News as a producer, fulfilling his career goal to work in broadcast journalism.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI to achieve fluency. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

HCRI Stuttering Therapy – Now Enrolling for Fall and Winter Programs

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) announces new fall and winter program dates for the national stuttering research and therapy center’s 12-day stuttering treatment program.

HCRI stuttering therapy is powerful, practical and proven. Invented in-house by HCRI’s own research scientists, the nonprofit institute’s stuttering therapy offering is an advanced, innovative system that helps individuals who stutter acquire life-long skills to control stuttering and speak fluently at will. The 12-day behavioral therapy is an immersion-based program with systematic treatment protocols and proprietary technology.

In the past 45 years, HCRI stuttering therapy helped thousands overcome stuttering and transform their lives through fluency. Here are upcoming therapy program dates:

2018 Fall and Winter Therapy Dates
Stuttering Therapy Scholarships Available
August 20 – 31
September 10 – 21
October 8 – 19
November 5 – 16
November 26 – December 7

 

HCRI Stuttering Therapy Headquarters
HCRI’s stuttering research and therapy center is based in Roanoke, Virginia.

HCRI stuttering therapy operates at the highest level of quality-controlled, behavioral stuttering therapy available today. In addition, HCRI clinicians are the only professionals in the world certified to administer the therapy. They participate in a rigorous 500-hour training program to ensure the best possible fluency outcomes for clients.

Apply Online >>

For individuals interested in enrolling, simply complete an online stuttering therapy application on the institute’s secure website. The team at HCRI will follow-up with each individual to answer questions and schedule program dates.

Stuttering therapy scholarships are available for the fall and winter program dates for those who need financial assistance and who qualify. Information about scholarships will be provided once a therapy application is submitted.

More information about HCRI and the center’s advanced stuttering therapy system is available at www.stuttering.org. Individuals may also contact HCRI at info@stuttering.org or 855-236-7032.  All inquiries are welcomed.

HCRI Receives Major Gift for Stuttering Therapy Scholarships

National Business Leader Sander A. Flaum Donates $100,000 to HCRI to Help Individuals Attend Life-Changing Stuttering Therapy

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), an international stuttering research and therapy center headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, received a $100,000 gift from Sander A. Flaum, principal of New York-based Flaum Navigators. Flaum is a sought-after leadership consultant, business speaker, best-selling author, adjunct professor at Fordham University Gabelli School of Business, and host of a weekly radio show.

Sander A. Flaum
Sander A. Flaum

Flaum has been an ardent supporter of HCRI through the years. The institute is a 45-year-old nonprofit organization led by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. Webster and his research scientists invented the first science-based, behavioral therapy for stuttering that imparts life-long fluency skills.

Continually enhanced with the latest research and treatment technology, HCRI’s 12-day program delivers among the highest documented fluency outcomes for stuttering therapy.

Flaum’s gift will be used over the next ten years for HCRI stuttering therapy scholarships to help individuals with financial challenges attend the institute’s stuttering treatment program.

“Sander’s support of HCRI through the years, including this latest gift, makes life-changing therapy accessible for those who struggle with stuttering,” Webster said. “His generosity directly impacts lives by enabling individuals to participate in HCRI stuttering therapy and realize their full potential through fluency.”

Flaum has spent his career leading and motivating businesses to excel and is recognized as one of the “100 Most Inspiring People” by PharmaVoice. He travels the country to meet with heads of business, conduct marketing workshops, and speak at conferences and college commencements. Yet, with his impressive public persona, no one would know that Flaum has struggled with stuttering since the age of five. In fact, his stuttering has been among his biggest barriers to overcome in life.

As a child, Flaum’s stuttered speech inhibited his ability to speak freely and express himself. Despite trying traditional speech therapy, as he got older his stuttering became increasingly pervasive, affecting him personally and professionally.

“People thought I was less intelligent or had mental deficiencies because I stuttered,” Flaum said. “There is a tremendous amount of ignorance and misconceptions that surround stuttering.”

While enduring ridicule and often being overlooked because of his stuttering, Flaum continued to push forward to achieve his goals. He was inspired by his encouraging mother who told him that “you have to work harder and smarter” to succeed as a stutterer.

When Flaum was in his early thirties, he heard about the advanced stuttering therapy at HCRI. He enrolled in the treatment program and found the experience to be transforming. Flaum learned new ways to use his speech muscles to control his stuttering and speak fluently at will. After he returned home, Flaum regularly practiced the skills he learned at HCRI to habituate his newly acquired fluency. The ability to speak fluently changed his life and enabled the business executive to realize his career goals.

After his experience with HCRI, Flaum became an advocate for others who stutter and made a commitment to make effective stuttering therapy more accessible. He started the Rose Flaum Foundation, named for his mother, to fund stuttering therapy scholarships to help individuals attend HCRI therapy.

According to Flaum, “Most stutterers go through a lot of adversity. The key is to not let it get to you. Instead, you have to work harder and smarter, as my mother always said. For me, giving my all and HCRI stuttering therapy made the difference.”

Working harder and smarter has become Flaum’s beacon for all aspects of his life. It has served him well and he uses it to inspire others.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

How You Can Donate

HCRI depends on gifts of all amounts from HCRI alumni and friends to continue operations and make therapy accessible to individuals who stutter. Gifts small and large will make a difference in the nonprofit center’s ability to help those who stutter transform their lives through fluency.  Please donate at stuttering.org/donate.php. All gifts are tax deductible.

HCRI Announces New Staff Clinicians

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org), a national center for stuttering research and treatment innovation, welcomes two new clinical team members: Amy Finch and Kristin Stanley. Both professionals bring to HCRI excellent behavioral therapy experience and a passion for helping individuals overcome challenges.

Kristin and Amy have just completed HCRI’s rigorous 500-hour training that certifies them to administer the nonprofit center’s advanced stuttering therapy program. Certification is required of all HCRI clinicians to ensure clients benefit from consistent, precise delivery of HCRI therapy and the highest standards of clinical excellence.

As staff clinicians, Kristin and Amy join current clinical team members Holly Humphreys, Candy Smith and Courtney Stackhouse to serve HCRI alumni and new therapy participants.

Meet Amy Finch

Amy FinchAmy Finch came to HCRI after extensive experience serving as a clinician and director of human resources for a private mental health facility in Virginia. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Amy was drawn to HCRI because of the dramatic impact that the therapy has on the lives of clients. She says it is so rewarding to see the smiles on clients’ faces when they leave the program speaking fluently.

In her free time, Amy spends time with her husband and son enjoying the array of outdoor activities that the Roanoke Valley offers.

Meet Kristin Stanley

Kristin Stanley

Before joining the HCRI team, Kristin Stanley worked as a psychiatric case manager at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare. Her experience also includes serving as a social worker for a senior living facility.

Kristin graduated from Johnson University with a bachelor’s degree in counseling. She has a gift for encouraging people to achieve their goals, which she has applied throughout her career.

Kristin says the best part of her job at HCRI is watching the incredible transformation that takes place when clients achieve fluency and gain confidence with their speech. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys traveling and painting.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

Learning from Nature and Science to Address Stuttered Speech

Creating effective stuttering therapy involves understanding specific events in nature that give rise to stuttering – and then developing a solution through science to address the problem.

HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.
HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.

The one-of-a-kind stuttering therapy at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org) is grounded in science and successful with thousands of stuttering cases at all levels of severity.

The therapy was invented by HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. and his research team who demonstrated that characteristics of stuttering are produced by misbehaving contractions within the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal folds. The result is that the speech organs during stuttering incorrectly move into positions that are not correct for the intended sounds.

This discovery dispelled long-standing assumptions that stuttered speech is derived from emotional or mental issues. Dr. Webster’s findings changed the way stuttering is viewed and needs to be treated. His research led to defining specific behavioral patterns that occur naturally in fluent speakers. Correct use of these patterns replaces the distorted contractions and movements that produce stuttered speech.

These muscle-movement patterns are called “targets.” Targets include clearly specified speech behaviors and feature permissible ranges of variation. Science shows that targets can be readily learned and retained with the right type of therapy. HCRI’s experience treating more than 6,500 individuals who stutter demonstrates that proper training and use of targets yields fluency in 93 percent of cases.

During a recent presentation at HCRI’s annual retreat, Dr. Webster explained the foundation of the institute’s comprehensive stuttering therapy system, which delivers among the highest documented fluency outcomes of any speech therapy. He shared that it is the job of science to:

  • Create methods that help us understand nature
  • Describe essential features of events in nature
  • Define causal relations between and among events in nature

“The good thing about science is that it is true, whether or not you believe in it,” Dr. Webster explained. “When considering the problem of stuttering, the events that happen are also true, whether or not you believe in it.”

Targets learned in HCRI’s 12-day stuttering therapy program are based on what nature has taught us. They are real and they work if done correctly and consistently when speaking, according to Dr. Webster.

HCRI’s comprehensive therapy system involves detailed instruction, practice and support on the use of targets to help individuals who stutter become fluent speakers. The nonprofit center’s therapy program includes:

  • One-on-one guidance by specially trained HCRI clinicians who teach participants how to produce targets when they speak
  • Use of computers in therapy to measure target production and help participants lock in fluency skills
  • Fluency training in the clinical setting and in real-world environments
  • Extensive post-therapy support that includes HCRI’s FluencyNet practice software, a mobile app, program materials, access to fluency practice groups, and HCRI events
  • Clinician follow up after therapy through phone contact and emails

Dr. Webster shares that we all are creatures of nature and our bodies obey natural laws. “Individuals stutter because a physical mechanism within their body forces speech muscles to contract in usual ways. The vocal tract is forced into positions that are not right for sounds that need to be produced,“ he said.

At the same time, Dr. Webster emphasizes that, because of the laws of nature, speech-muscle activities can be reconstructed and retained. Vocal tract shapes and shape changes can be normalized. When therapy participants apply precise standards of performance to targets when they speak, reliable production of fluent speech can be achieved.  Then, a world of new possibilities becomes a reality through fluency.

To learn more about HCRI’s approach to overcoming stuttered speechs using the laws nature and principles of science, click here: HCRI Stuttering Therapy.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

HCRI Stuttering Therapy Transformed Marion Koestenberger’s Life

Marion Koestenberger of Chicago, Illinois has stuttered ever since she can remember. Her inability to speak fluently eroded her confidence and self-perception throughout her school years. She was terrified whenever she was asked to say her name, read out loud, or participate in class.

Her classmates thought she couldn’t read because of her speech. Marion feared they also thought she was “stupid.” In fact, she was an excellent student. She simply had difficulty talking. When Marion was 12 years old, her parents enrolled her in speech therapy offered at a nearby university. It was ineffective.

Marion Koestenberger
Marion Koestenberger

Yet, she pushed forward through high school and graduated with honors before going to college and earning her degree. As Marion grew older, she dealt with her stuttering by substituting words she couldn’t say and by avoiding situations that would highlight her speech challenges. All the while, she continued to feel unsure of herself and limited in life because she couldn’t speak fluently.

Then, Marion heard about Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org) from a friend who saw a story on ABC’s 20/20 about the center’s breakthrough treatment. The television show highlighted how HCRI stuttering therapy helped national broadcaster John Stossel overcome his stuttering, paving the way for a successful television career. Inspired by his story, she contacted HCRI and enrolled in the non-profit institute’s program.

HCRI stuttering therapy was created by stuttering expert and clinical psychologist Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. It is the first comprehensive, behavioral treatment program for stuttering – and has been continually refined through the years. Dr. Webster’s early research revealed that stuttering is physically derived, which is in sharp contrast to prevailing assumptions that stuttering is emotionally based.

According to Dr. Webster, the repetitions, prolongations and voice blockages that individuals label as stuttering are caused by speech muscles that misbehave. “At HCRI, we applied our findings to develop an innovative, science-based therapy that teaches participants how to replace abnormal muscle contractions that cause stuttering with detailed, new muscle movements that generate fluent speech,” Dr. Webster said.

“Participating in HCRI’s stuttering therapy program was hard work. I learned new ways to use my speech muscles and how to adjust my breathing to produce fluent, spontaneous speech.” Marion explained. “After therapy, I could finally talk. HCRI changed my life.”

Research demonstrates that HCRI stuttering therapy helps 93 percent of participants achieve fluency by the end of their 12-day treatment program. Follow-up studies reveal that 70 to 75 percent maintain fluency for the long term.

Marion’s ability to speak fluently opened new doors for her career and enabled her confidence to soar. To sustain fluent speech, Marion is quick to point out that practice after therapy is key to maintaining speech-muscle memory. “Like the game of golf, you’ve got to be serious about practicing to sustain your skills. Otherwise, your muscles will not do what you need them to do,” she said.

More than a decade after her therapy, Marion returned to HCRI for refreshers to hone her fluency skills. For many, HCRI stuttering therapy is a one-time experience. Others take advantage of HCRI’s post-therapy support and refresher programs to help keep their fluency on track.

Recently, Marion participated in HCRI’s new remote-therapy refresher program after she was asked to represent her division at a corporate event, where she would be speaking with more than a hundred associates. She wanted to ensure her fluency was exacting. From her home, she used FaceTime to receive individualized counsel from one of HCRI’s specially trained clinicians. She also used HCRI’s proprietary therapy software to practice her fluency skills. As a result, Marion was fully prepared and her participation at the event was a success.

“My advice to anyone who stutters is to go to HCRI. If I can do it, you can too. It will transform your life,” she added.

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About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.