Individual, or 1:1, speech and language therapy with me begins with a “case history” interview session, designed to find out about you, your health and wellbeing, and your gender journey. Every client’s journey is different and there is absolutely no requirement to have a medical/psychiatric diagnosis or to be pursuing a specific type of transition or gender expression in order to attend. As a Speech and Language Therapist, I am trained to assess need and provide holistic interventions in order to help my clients become confident, competent communicators in each of their lived environments. For trans* or gender non-conforming clients, this is no different. At the end of the first session, we will both have a good idea of what each of us is bringing to the therapeutic relationship and whether we will proceed with a course of speech and language therapy.
Goals for therapy will naturally vary from client to client, often aiming towards bringing the vocal or communication style more in line with the gender(s) you want to express. We can work on many goals, including:
Broadening the pitch range so you have access to higher or lower notes when speaking and then learning how to use those notes in conversation.
Men and women sometimes use language differently; the language of gender and developing a gender “lexicon” or vocabulary to talk about, explain and express your gender with.
Developing confidence in your daily interactions while staying true to your gender(s).
Gestures, posture, facial expressions etc.
Presentations, group communications, public speaking.
Sometimes what’s holding you back is not your voice or communication style, but a lack of self-belief and resilience.
I incorporate elements of many disciplines, such as yoga, mindfulness and nutrition as well as principles of motor learning and motivation, to help you to develop as a confident communicator, no matter how or where you are presenting.
If your voice is something you plan to work on with me, I will assess your vocal health and provide you with some vocal hygiene practices to begin your vocal journey. It is critical that your vocal tract, which runs from your mouth to your lungs via your larynx or voice box, and all of the muscles surrounding and connected to it, are well taken care of. Ask any of my clients and they will tell you I am strict but realistic when it comes to enhancing vocal health.
If voice is being targeted, we will conduct your voice assessment in your second session. I will take a series of voice recordings and together we will agree on an ideal practicing pitch for you – one that you can achieve comfortably and without any strain. I will introduce you to the basic voice exercise that will be built upon, week by week, working up through a hierarchy of speech tasks, to the point of free-flowing conversation.
Along the way we will monitor and address the challenges you face in achieving your weekly goals, together figuring out ways of over coming them. Often, while engaging with voice therapy, other issues come up and goals can often change. My holistic and fluid approach to speech and language therapy allows for this organic process to take place. This is real life and the voice, indeed the person, does not exist in a vacuum. My approach, in essence, is educational. Ideally you, the client, become an expert in your own voice and communication style, indeed an expert in yourself.
I recommend that clients plan and budget for 6-8 individual therapy sessions following assessment. From January 2016, individual speech and language therapy sessions will be available at a fee of €80.00 per session. Sessions take place in person at 46 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, or online via Skype.