Help for adults who stammer.
We've listed some options below. Some are delivered by registered speech & language therapists, and others are not. We've made it clear which ones fall into each category.
Our Guide to Therapy Options explains more about the different approaches.
*NHS services might be limited because of Covid-19. Some are providing therapy by video call.
Contact your local NHS service to see if they offer speech & language therapy. It's free but you need to be registered with a GP. Not everywhere has a service for adults.
To find your local NHS therapist, follow the instructions below. Or use our webchat/helpline and we'll talk you through it.
- Go on to Google, or an alternative search engine.
- Search for 'Adult NHS speech and language therapy + the name of your area' (for example, if you live in Birmingham, search for 'Adult NHS speech and language therapy Birmingham').
- Look on their website for a telephone number or email address.
- Contact them and ask to make an appointment.
If there's no service where you live
If your local NHS service has told you therapy is not available:
- Speak to your GP about applying for funding elsewhere. This can be either from a private therapy service or a different NHS health trust. Note that such applications are only occasionally successful.
- Apply for 'teletherapy' from Airedale NHS. They provide remote therapy for adults across the UK via video call. If there's no service where you live, they can support you through a funding application with your GP. They also accept private referrals if you're able to fund the therapy yourself. For more information, visit the Airedale NHS website or read our Teletherapy page.
If you can afford it, private therapy might be an option for you. Make sure to ask if they have experience working with adults who stammer before choosing one.
Cost: Sessions with a private speech & language therapist vary, but may range between £70 and £125. This depends on the therapist's experience, what's included, or regional variation. A first session is likely to be more expensive. This is because they'll spend extra time gathering information.
Finding a private therapist:
Go to the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice website.
Or phone them on 0203 002 3704.
*Currently running courses online via video call
City Lit is an adult education centre in London offering a range of group therapy courses, workshops and evening classes. They are run by specialist speech & language therapists and include:
• block modification
• Interiorised or concealed stammering
• public speaking
• speaking circles
• acceptance and commitment therapy and
• living well with stammering.
(Read our Guide to Therapy Options, which explains some of these approaches.)
Cost: Courses range from £79 for a one-day course to £289 for a 7-day intensive course.
The Roberta Williams Speech & Language Therapy Centre, based at City University in London, offers intensive 5-day speech therapy courses for ages 8-18. If you're aged 19 or over, you won't be able to access this course.
Courses are run by speech & language therapists and focus on helping young people to:
- become less bothered about stammering
- develop communication skills
- build confidence in social situations and giving presentations.
Cost: £150. Some places are funded by Action for Stammering Children.
*This course is currently suspended. Check their website below for updates
The McGuire Programme is a 3- or 4-day residential course for adults held around the UK and worldwide. Courses teach costal breathing combined with relaxation techniques and mental strategies. (For more details on costal breathing see our Guide to Therapy Options.) The Programme's aims are to help deal with the fear of stammering and develop an assertive attitude to it. Its goal is eloquence rather than fluency.
Courses are run by returning graduates, not speech & language therapists. They consider their personal experience with stammering and the Programme a significant qualification.
Cost: £995 (due after two days if you decide to carry on). Hotel costs vary. Future member/returning grad fees are £30 per day (max. £90 for the full course). Partial scholarships are available. They regularly hold free open days.
*Currently running courses online via video call
The Michael Palin Centre in London offers a range of individual and group therapy. It's run by specialist speech & language therapists. If you don't live in London it also offers therapy via video call, called 'teletherapy'.
Cost: Contact them for details. Funding is available through the NHS or private route for UK residents.
Starfish Project courses for adults are restarting in August 2021.
The Starfish Project is a 3-day residential course based in Eastbourne, in the south of England. It teaches techniques to help gain control of speech and increase confidence. These techniques include costal breathing, reducing avoidance and developing a positive attitude. (For more details on costal breathing see our Guide to Therapy Options.)
Courses are run by its founder, Anne Blight. People who have done the course before give one-to-one training. They are not speech & language therapists. But, they consider their personal experience with stammering a significant qualification.
Cost: £250, excluding hotel costs. Free lifetime refresher courses.
The Stammering Self-empowerment Programme
This is a module-based online course that teaches two fluency enhancing methods. It’s designed to help develop a deeper understanding of stammering and what affects it. Academic Paul Brocklehurst, its founder, has carried out extensive research into stammering.
Above are the main therapies and courses for stammering in the UK. You might come across others online or elsewhere that aren't on our list. To safeguard against untested or unqualified providers, we recommend choosing a therapy, programme or course which:
- offers realistic expectations of change and NOT an offer of a cure or a way of 'stopping' stammering
- provides clear and unambiguous information about the rationale, cost, duration and commitment needed
- is neutral and unbiased, and does not pose stammering as a misfortune or an affliction
- recognises the need to accept one's stammer at some level, in order to help speech and/or attitudinal change
- is nationally recognised as empowering people to manage their stammering more easily. We judge this based on a number of things including an organisation's track record over time, peer reviews and feedback.
If you are unsure of anything you see, get in touch with us by using our webchat or helpline.
Support and Resources
Check out the rest of our Get Support section. We've got details of apps and devices, everyday tips and support for work, job hunting or university.
If you need support or a friendly chat, talk to someone on our support team by using our webchat or helpline. We know what it's like to stammer.
See our Resources section for helpful videos and audio clips, as well as our library (when it reopens).
Meeting and speaking to others who stammer is one of the best things you can do. Find out about local or online support groups and forums at our Connect section. You'll also find links to our social media there.
Go to our Your Voice section. It's packed with articles by others who stammer about their experiences. Why not wrote an article yourself to help, encourage or inspire others? See our Share Your Story page to find out how.
Keep up to date with our events and services and become a member. It's free and only takes 30 seconds to sign up. You just have to fill in the short form on our Become a Member page.
If you have a service you'd like us to include here, download and read our Guidelines below. They explain our criteria for including a therapy or course on our website. Then download and complete the Approaches for therapies & courses form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org Requests will be reviewed by our Service Panel.