November 2010 Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment Clinic
KF – Mixed SD/MTD 3 ½ years: Speech therapy and psychological therapy for PTSD.
I had gotten to the point with my SD that I had accepted what many medical professionals and books told me, that my voice condition wasn’t curable. Hearing that repeatedly destroys a person’s hope and it was doing that to me. I began to settle for where I was. The voice rehabilitation clinic changed my outlook regarding SD and restored the hope I had lost. I realized how much the negative feedback was impacting my thoughts and manifesting into a voice that was distorted and broken. By understanding the mind body connection, learning tools and techniques to achieve the freedom to speak, and how to breathe from my abdomen so my voice would flow freely, the clinic gave me complete confidence in recovering my voice. Incorporating yoga and exercise helped as well.
I’m blessed and encouraged by knowing Connie Pike and learning from her success in restoring/recovering her voice. I’m fortunate to have a breathing coach like Dennis who also has so much knowledge on NLP, nutrition and ways to maintain the best body. The clinic gave me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people with SD and gain a great support group of friends.
Bob – AD/SD 5 years: Speech therapy, 4 botox injections (unsuccessful)
I found the session to be most helpful. Not only did my voice significantly improve over this five days, I left with the tools and techniques that I know will help me to continue to improve. I am most thankful that Connie has found a way for SD patients to rehabilitate their voices. She has put together a team that understands SD and the physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional aspects that impact SD. Connie, Dennis, Robbie and Christine are outstanding teachers, counselors, and coaches who put their heart and soul into helping their clients. I was particularly happy and blessed that their emphasis on the spiritual aspects based on a Christian foundation. Another aspect that is so helpful is the interaction and support that comes from being around other SD clients and watch them ALL improve while they are at the seminar. I would HIGHLY recommend Connie’s clinic for all SD patients.
Kristy – AD/SD, 2 years, reflux medication, two speech therapy sessions, 4 botox injections which were successful but with side effects.
Besides the mechanical/physical skills I learned to correct my voice and restore it to a natural, free flowing voice, one of the biggest benefits of the clinic was the group dynamics and support. I had really gotten to a place or a point where I was completely focused on all the things I couldn’t do. I couldn’t make phone calls, couldn’t work, and couldn’t talk in many situations. I even got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t have a personality because of the limitations of this condition. It was refreshing and inspiring to meet others who shared the same condition, but were still continuing on with all of the normal things people do. Working, interacting with friends and family, expressing their personalities being playful and spontaneous. It made me realize how much I was limiting myself and how much SD was limiting me. I really feel that the holistic approach is very crucial to recovery, as it addresses many mental, emotional and psychological barriers we may have to recovering the true voice. I am walking away knowing exactly what I have to do to be free to speak.
Clara –AD/SD 2 years; speech therapy.
Five days of an intensive variety of coaching, breathing, assessments, techniques, self awareness and tools is what encompassed my experience in Connie Pike’s November 2010 clinic. I now have a better understanding of SD that along with a body, mind and soul holistic approach will improve my quality of life and voice. I am taking home invaluable and necessary tools to aid me in re-grooving my brain with new patterns.
My voice has improved dramatically. I have gained confidence, and have learned that along with all the speech tools I have received, there is a psychological aspect that goes hand in hand. My attitude, the power that words have, the positive affirmations that reinforce grounding myself, recognizing that “I” is the first letter of the alphabet and that I need time to learn to take time to practice, breathe and exercise.
Our daily work schedule was intensive but allowed for time with individual sessions with our coaches, time for practice and group session. The final night was an amazing relaxing dinner with the team and the night ended with karaoke – singing and using our voice to the fullest. Of course, the union, and support of the group was awesome. I have made lifetime friends.
I thank Dennis for his knowledge, love and amusing anecdotes, Christine for her God gifted hands, TLC and massage and most of all, I thank Connie for being a friend, for her courage in researching, combating SD and finding a way of rehabilitation and hope for many. I am looking forward to the next book so I may continue on my path to recovery. We Can Do It!
Jonathan– AD/SD 14 months, speech therapy, 1 successful botox injection.
The two most significant components of the clinic, from an operational standpoint, were the group dynamics nicely balanced with individual attention and the holistic approach taken which allowed for a wide range of solutions. These two elements provided a very tailored approach to a condition that has so many causes and manifestations.
Also, not to be undervalued was the personal approach Connie takes in opening herself to the group that, without judgment, is both encouraging and relaxed. Speaking for myself, but reflected in the comments of my co-attendees, this demonstrated and enabled the basic tenant that learning to speak freely comes from a relaxed state not a strenuous, urgent, anxious or forced one. As Connie says, “not hard work, rather hardly working”.
The clinic team was extremely well balanced and complimented one another well. The time too was well orchestrated, providing enough time for each session and collectively, enough breadth to give me confidence that I own the materials.
I can’t overemphasize how my attitude and perspective have been completely changed about my condition and my prospects for the future. Connie has given me both the hope and faith I’ve needed as well as the tools to move to a new, stronger, clearer voice. Thank you, I look forward to my eight month review.