Integrating the practice
Clients should be instructed to build their practice gradually. It should be recognized that they have been provided with far too many exercises (from the totality of Voice Packs 1-3) for them to practice each one every day. Rather, clients should be encouraged to take a step-wise approach. Perhaps one day they will wish to practice breathing exercises, the next day they may wish to practice easy onset, the next day something different, and so on.
Similarly, it should be made explicit that it is not possible to transfer the skills learnt in these sessions to everyday environments overnight. It will take time – typically they will need to give themselves up to 12 weeks before they feel that the techniques are becoming habitual, i.e. that they can make use of them with relatively little conscious effort. They may wish to, for example, decide that next week at work they will focus on using abdominal breathing when using the telephone, or when in a meeting. Perhaps the week after they will focus on using easy onset. The week after they may choose to focus on developing another skill, and so on. Gradually, over an extended length of time, clients should be able to integrate more of the techniques that they have learnt.
Clients should be encouraged to practice a little every day rather than, say, waiting until the end of the week and practicing for several hours. They should be re-reminded that the goal is for these techniques to become a habit in everyday situations and, therefore, they need to be practiced for a short time each day. If they forget to practice one day, or they are unable to do so for whatever reason, they should just pick up where they left off and start at the next opportunity. It’s not possible to be prescriptive about how frequently clients should practice exercises. They will know their bodies better than anyone and will develop a feel for just how much practice is required. A general guide, however, is to recommend practice twice per day, for about 15 minutes on each occasion. The principle is ‘little and often’.
THIS COMPLETES THE ‘STRENGTHENING THE SPEAKING VOICE’ COURSE