QueenAnntics

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The King’s Speech/The Queen Who Built the Bridge of Trust

March 8th, 2011 | No Comments

Stuttering can be difficult treat. To get an idea of what it is like to struggle for words, think of the times when you tried to think of someone’s name or a place that you wanted to recommend. The harder you try access that word, the more it seems to elude you. Then once you give up trying to come up with it, it suddenly appears in your mind as if by a miracle.  It’s like being stuck in the snow or mired in quicksand, the more you struggle, the worse it tends to get.  Removing the pressure and unlocking the system is a key component in stuttering therapy.  There is an art to achieving the type of relationship between client and therapist that is required to loosen up the system – as the movie demonstrated, it is more than just technique.  Give the Queen as much credit as the therapist.  She was the bridge of trust that made this relationship possible.

Lionel Logue, the therapist, was an interesting character and he fundamentally understood the anxiety and pressure that can lock up the speech mechanism.  As a trained actor,  he was probably the most equipped to loosen the king up.  After all, he had observed stage fright and the effect it had on performers.  Yet it was the Queen who hung in there even when the King doubted that his therapist could help him.  She sang out of the window, rolled on the ground-did whatever she could to support the King.  I believe this built the critical bridge that served to bond the two men together.

Stuttering therapy takes family support.  Many years ago, I worked with stuttering clients as part of my speech therapy training. Some clients had lived with stuttering all of their lives and some had acquired it after a brain injury.  In all cases, it was very helpful to have a patient, non-judgmental family member hang in there with the client.  Queen Elizabeth known as The Queen Mother after the death of King George VI, served in this role perfectly.  No wonder she remained popular with the British people until she died at the ripe old age of 101!  Through divorces and scandals in the British royal family, the Queen Mum knew how to roll with it!  She was a very cool queen indeed!

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