The Analytic Observer

Newsletter of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1997 Newsletter

Institute Activities

Each Newsletter will highlight a different Institute Activity with the intention of informing the Society Members of the various activities of the Institute.

Fluency Readiness


Alixandra Feinberg

The FLUENCY READINESS program is an ancillary program for chronic stuttering sponsored by the Institute. It is designed to use a combination of cognitive and dynamic psychotherapy which have been specially adapted for people who have difficulty with speech. The program has been adapted to help patients recognize difficulties in affect management and tension regulation and to address those problems prior to a direct focus on speech. The program has been in existence for three years treating adults and children with a chief complaint of stuttering. For many years, the field of stuttering treatment has been the province of speech pathologists with the psychological aspect either ignored or treated behaviorally. Our research project has indicated that when stutterers have our form of treatment before receiving speech fluency treatment, they have a better chance of making more natural and enduring speech patterns.

Recently I undertook a long distance bike ride to promote the concept and our program. "The Ride for Readiness" was the title. We had promoted our new approach through the usual methods: public relations, yellow pages and presentations. However, we felt that it was time to make a strategic change in the way we got the word out to the community. I got the idea of taking the show on the road from a Wall Street Journal article on how Airstream Trailers were being bought and adapted for different jobs. From this story I conceived my bicycle ride. I bicycled into strange towns, going into schools, attending picnics and even in one case attending a plowing contest.

Dressed in bicycle gear and greasy, I talked about our three missions: raising awareness that a new treatment for stuttering is available and that our Program could be used on a consultation basis to speech pathologists; raising money donated by sponsors to produce videos demonstrating the unique techniques we offer; and raising consciousness that old approaches to stuttering which tend to ignore the emotions experienced by stutterers is not useful and might be harmful.

My destination was the University of Iowa, the birthplace of modem treatment for stuttering. The ride led to a meeting with a professor who said "How can I turn you away after riding 250 miles (264 to be exact) to see me?" One school principal looked at me gear, grease, brochure et al and said: "Great marketing." Four newspaper articles and two TV spots gave me additional platforms. The increased public awareness of both the FLUENCY READINESS program and the Institute leads me to suggest the Institute consider variations on this type of event - bike rides or even a posh trailer. The experience of simply getting out there and "campaigning" if you will about services the Institute and Society members offer and being able to address the myths that have developed over the years about psychoanalysis is a effective way to alter the Institute's image.

The ride also developed sponsors not previously involved with the Institute. I received free physical training from Athleico at the East Bank Club and other locations. Big Shoulders Bicycle Shot) on North Ave was my bike sponsor. Kylian, Graphic Design did my brochure at no cost. All three have offered discounts to other projects sponsored by the Institute or Society. Other sponsors were Julia Dyra, RD, LD Nutrition; Carnegie Financial, who offered free fax; Amalgamated Bank, who paid for brochure printing; and Continental Courier, who offered free messenger service. Leslie Frazier, a U of I. coach and former member of the Bears Super Bowl team, was instrumental in getting out the message and fundraising. All these sponsors are now aware of us and constitute an ongoing resource for the Institute and the Society.

Chicago Psychoanalytic Society | December 1997 Newsletter