February 2011 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic
Dan – AB/SD with first symptoms November 09/diagnosed July 2010: Speech therapy at Emory Voice Center, 4 botox injections..
Don’t come to the clinic with the intention that someone with SD will be “cured” because that is not what Connie teaches. She teaches that you have a choice not to use traditional methods (the gold standard of botox), surgery or invasive methods. Connie teaches that you don’t have to have a perfect voice, as everyone has flaws. For me, that was extremely important mentally! My goal now is to get a functional voice that I can live with.
The benefits of the group setting were very important. Having SD is hard but going through it alone can be very troublesome. Everyone had similar feelings and stories of facing the world when speaking with SD. You have anxiety and tensions that people who can speak freely don’t understand. Ordering a cup of coffee can be difficult. Being able to share stories is important.
I know I have a lot of work ahead to get back a functioning voice, and have learned that it’s ok to have bad days; the world won’t end because of it. The tools and methods I have learned at Connie’s clinic are invaluable and I am glad that I chose the option to attend. I believe that with practice I will attain a functional speaking voice.
JH– Mixed SD 5 years: one month DVR with Morton Cooper a year ago.
My voice improved 90% at the clinic. A major shift was that I learned not to try so hard to get the words out. I learned not to be afraid of letting my voice go low in pitch. The clinic helped me balance the previous teaching I had received.
The group sessions helped my confidence in being around other people. I loved the mental focusing with Dennis. I loved hearing Connie describe her ups and downs. It inspired me, as well as her great love in helping people.
Ten days later this from JH – “I just wanted to thank you for the help with my voice. Sunday I sang and preached two services in the morning and did better than I have since I started having voice problems. Then when I did TV recording on Tuesday I did great, and last night during a Wednesday night service it was wonderful. Songs were flowing out of my heart and preaching off the chart! I got a little tired at the end but overall, it was terrific improvement.
It seems the longer I practice the stuff you guys gave me, the less problems I have speaking and singing. In fact, it is going so well that there are times I am experiencing virtually no effort at all. What I love is that this is happening more and more each day I continue to practice. Thanks again.
Anne –Laryngeal dystonia 10 years, Speech therapy, Alexander technique, psychotherapy, 7.5 years of regular botox injections.
I experienced patches of clarity and ease in speaking. My breathing became more open and relaxed. The clinic explored the voice from many angles ranging from the emotional to the practical. It offered individual and group support at tackling the tough challenges of overcoming SD.
I would highly recommend it to any SD sufferer. There are so many helpful and supportive experiences to draw on when I return home.
Connie and Dennis are a great team: they reinforce the message I need, which is to keep tackling SD and never give in to temporary setbacks.
Thank you for warm support and hospitality!