Cracking the Silence: Overcoming the Challenge of the Can’t START Talking PWs (PWCST)

Stuttering is a complex and often deeply personal struggle. While many people who stutter (PWS) can speak with varying degrees of fluency, some find themselves in a particularly challenging situation known as “Can’t START Talking PWS” or PWCST. These individuals, in certain situations, are unable to utter a single word, making them among the most severe stutterers (VSS). In this blog post, we will explore the unique difficulties faced by PWCsT and delve into strategies to help them find their voice.

The Severe Stuttering Challenge

Severe stuttering or stammering is a daunting challenge that can have a significant impact on an individual’s life. While the techniques discussed throughout this blog can be valuable for many PWS, VSS, and PWCST require a more intensive approach. For any PWS in this category, self-hypnosis and auto-suggestions are paramount, functioning almost as a constant companion, providing support 24/7.

Self-hypnosis and auto-suggestions serve as the foundation for any therapeutic journey. They help to reprogram the subconscious mind, which plays a significant role in stuttering. The power of suggestion and visualization cannot be underestimated. Repeatedly affirming the desire for fluency and visualizing oneself as a fluent speaker can expedite the healing process.

The Healing Power of Reading Aloud and Imagination

Reading aloud can be an instrumental part of the healing process for PWCST. When they read aloud, they constantly hear their own fluency, creating positive memories that counteract the negative ones associated with stuttering. Additionally, playing recorded auto-suggestions during sleep, workouts, or other times can help reinforce the desired mindset.

Imagination is an equally powerful tool. What one imagines (or visualizes) becomes a virtual experience that can create positive memories, almost as effective as real-time experiences. Continuously imagining fluency throughout one’s conscious hours can dramatically expedite the journey toward healing.

Breaking the Silence: A Bridge to Speech

PWCST, a specific kind of VSS, presents a unique challenge. These individuals struggle to initiate speech, often remaining completely silent in certain situations. The solution to this issue might seem elusive, but there is a promising method that can make a significant difference.

The Power of Sound and Holding Tones

One approach that has shown remarkable success in helping PWCST involves sound and tone. The basic idea is that if a person can hold any note or sound, whether in singing or speaking, they can use it as a conveyor belt for their words. This sound serves as a foundation on which they can layer words, akin to constructing a sentence.

The key steps in this approach include:

  • Holding a Tone: The individual holds a tone or sound, similar to a note in a song, without any hesitations or fears.
  • Layering Words: While holding the tone, they start incorporating words onto the sound, using techniques like word-linkage to connect words seamlessly.
  • Speaking Short Thoughts: They keep their speech increments short, often 1 to 7 words, and make sure to maintain a full stop at the end of the thought.
  • Repeating the Process: After the full stop, they repeat the process with the next short thought or prologue to a thought.

This approach blends elements of Crutches 4 and 10, and while it may seem challenging in theory, it has shown tremendous success in practice.

Real-World Stop Stuttering Stories

Several individuals with PWCST have made significant progress using this approach. They reported being able to speak fluently to their families and some friends over half of the time. This progress transformed their lives and brought them happiness, even if they still found it difficult to speak to authority figures and strangers.

One particularly encouraging story is that of a college student who, after just three weeks of employing this method, achieved his first-ever fluency. His off-key singing combined with laughter proved to be a game-changer in his journey to overcome stuttering.

Stepping Stones to Speech

For PWCST, the journey to speech begins with mastering the art of speaking in short bursts. This method has brought success for many, allowing them to express themselves in ways they had never thought possible. The key steps to breaking the silence include:

  • Speaking Immediately: When the individual feels an urge to speak, they should do so immediately, keeping their speech increments very short and employing word-linkage to connect words seamlessly.
  • Holding a Sound or Tone: If they can’t speak spontaneously, they can grab any word or sound and hold onto it, making it the foundation for their speech. There should be no space between words or syllables.
  • Layering Words: While holding the tone or sound, they add words onto it, employing word-linkage for smooth speech.
  • Creating Short Thoughts: Each speech increment should be short, 1 to 7 words or so, followed by a full stop for a two-count pause.
  • Repeating the Process: The cycle continues with the next short thought or prologue to a thought.

This approach offers an innovative way to navigate speech difficulties.

Returning to Basics When Needed

If a PWCST struggles to make progress using the above methods, they can return to the basics:

  • Massive Reading Aloud: Read aloud extensively, avoiding any words that trigger stuttering by whispering, mouthing, or silently reading them.
  • Speaking Massively: When alone and fluent, practice speaking extensively.
  • Talking to Others: Gradually engage in conversations with others, but be prepared to stop talking to avoid every stutter.
  • Writing: If speaking remains challenging, write and try to speak simultaneously, perhaps in different voice registers like loud, soft, or whisper.
  • Singing: For those who find speaking impossible, soft singing can be a game-changer. Singing difficult words or passages, coupled with laughter, can provide a breakthrough.
  • Self-Hypnosis: Devote significant time to self-hypnosis and integrate it into your daily routine. Use idle time for auto-suggestions throughout the day.
  • Practice Speaking Without Thinking: Challenge yourself to speak without thinking at all. This can be a powerful tool to break free from the cycle of stuttering.


For PWCST, the path to fluency may be more challenging, but it is not insurmountable. With a combination of self-hypnosis, auto-suggestions, and innovative speech techniques, many have successfully broken their silence. The journey requires determination, patience, and practice, but the rewards are immeasurable.

While the road may be tough, PWCsT can take heart in knowing that they are not alone on this journey. The support of the stuttering community and dedicated professionals can be a lifeline as they work to reclaim their voices.

Stuttering may be a formidable adversary, but with unwavering determination, these individuals will prevail, one spoken word at a time.

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