Overcoming Stuttering: Crutch #6 – Changing or Rephrasing the Entire Thought


In the context of stuttering, a “crutch” is a term used to describe various techniques or strategies that people who stutter (PWS) use to help manage and mitigate their stuttering. Crutches are not a “cure” for stuttering but rather a set of tools that individuals can employ to make their speech more fluent and less challenging. These crutches can provide temporary relief from stuttering and help boost a person’s confidence in their ability to communicate effectively.

For those who wrestle with stuttering, every spoken word can feel like a minefield, and the anticipation of stumbling over difficult words can be nerve-wracking. But there’s a unique way to navigate these verbal obstacles—Crutch #6, Changing or Rephrasing the Entire Thought. This powerful technique empowers individuals who stutter to shift their speech patterns, fostering spontaneous thought and fluent communication. In this blog, we’ll explore how this innovative approach can set you on the path to confident and unhindered speech.

Changing or Rephrasing the Entire Thought

Crutch #6 presents an intriguing and effective strategy for individuals who stutter. By altering your thought process, you can sidestep the looming stutter or block and foster a fresh, spontaneous thought pattern. The crux of this technique lies in changing the entire trajectory of your sentence or conversation.

It’s worth noting that individuals who stutter often find themselves stuck in the clutches of a deeply ingrained habit. Stuttering is a habit, just as fluency is a habit. These two habits are perpetually at odds, making it impossible to embrace both simultaneously. To free yourself from the shackles of stuttering, you must rewire your thought process and speech patterns.

Changing or rephrasing the entire thought is the key to success here. This approach often involves switching to a related thought line or even embarking on an entirely different path within your conversation. The beauty of this technique is that it trains your mind to think quickly and speak without meticulously planning every word in advance. It encourages you to think creatively and embrace spontaneity in your speech.

Illustrating the Concept

To grasp the full potential of Crutch #6, consider the following example:

Imagine you’re at a social gathering, and someone asks you a question that triggers your fear of stuttering. Rather than battling through the anticipated block, you apply Crutch #6. You instantly redirect the conversation by rephrasing your entire thought or initiating a different line of discussion. This spontaneous shift allows you to avoid the anticipated stutter while maintaining a seamless and natural flow of conversation.

An Alternate Strategy: Becoming a Questioner

In addition to changing or rephrasing your thoughts, another strategy that complements Crutch #6 is becoming a skilled questioner. When you sense the pressure to speak mounting, consider passing the conversational torch to others. By asking questions and actively listening, you not only relieve the pressure on yourself but also foster more engaging and enjoyable interactions. Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” discusses the art of becoming a good conversationalist through strategic questioning. As you learn to ask questions, you’ll have more engaging and relaxed conversations, and people will naturally gravitate toward you.

The Fundamental Principle: Thinking and Speaking Urges and Goals

Crutch #6 is anchored in the core principle of thinking and speaking your urges and goals, not specific words. When your primary focus becomes the intent behind your speech rather than the precise words, you unleash the power of spontaneous and fluent speech. Fluent speakers are adept at speaking without detailed planning. They trust that their ideas will naturally find expression, with words falling into place on their own.

Practical Exercises for Spontaneous Thought

To apply Crutch #6 effectively, practice spontaneous thought and speech in front of a mirror. Encourage your mind to make choices on the fly, embracing the flexibility and creativity that come with unscripted communication. As you hone this skill, you’ll notice your fear meter falling, signaling a growing sense of confidence and control over your speech.


Incorporating Crutch #6 into your journey to overcome stuttering provides an innovative and empowering approach to speech therapy. By changing or rephrasing your thoughts and encouraging spontaneous speech, you’ll find freedom in communicating confidently and fluently. As you work on this technique, you’ll experience a gradual decline in your fear meter, and the habit of stuttering will give way to the habit of fluent speech. Embrace the power of spontaneous thought and liberate your speech from the constraints of stuttering.
In the next sections of this blog series, we will explore the remaining 7 crutches, each offering a unique perspective and approach to managing stuttering. Remember, the journey to fluency and confident speech may take time, but with dedication and the right strategies, it’s entirely achievable.

Stay tuned for more insights into Crutches 7 through 13 and how they can help you gain control over your stuttering and unlock your full potential as a communicator.

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