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Going with the flow in voice therapy sessions

Working WITH and not against patients.

How do we work with our patients instead of against?

I had a session with a patient the other week that was in all senses of the word, in my mind, a disaster. He couldn’t get the zoom to work at first, he had hearing issues and couldn’t hear me well, and I felt like he wasn’t truly willing to focus on his voice the way he needed to to make a change.

I honestly almost had the discussion with him to discharge from therapy and get a procedure because voice therapy was just not working. But I didn’t and decided to give therapy one more shot. I came into next session and said, you know what, let’s try something different.

I worked completely WITH him, and followed his lead. He told me he likes cracking jokes so for the whole session he was cracking jokes with me. While he did, I was able to have him use a very clear resonant voice with increased airflow.

He also is creative and enjoyed making up his own sentences. So instead of drilling my own resonant sentences we worked on his own resonant sentences. And then some spontaneous sentences (“do that sentence for me again but now in your resonant voice”)

Let me tell you what happened:

  1. Engagement and rapport went through the roof

  2. The session was so motivating to have him focus on his voice because he (and I) were having FUN and cracking up, while still working on his goals!

  3. He began to trust me because I was working with him and not just ignoring his personality or his interests.

  4. Carryover was increased because we worked in conversation and spontaneous speech (not just drilled “m-sentences”

So what’s the take away? What if we are a little less “by the book” and a little more human?

Do you struggle with building rapport and boosting engagement for your patients? Do you feel like you're challenged to have your patients make real progress through sessions? Contact me to chat in a free consultation to see how I can help!

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