I’ve been working in the NHS for three and a half years and I’m currently a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. Primarily my role is to deliver talking therapies (the irony is not lost on me!). I absolutely love my job, and I’ve never wanted to let my stammer stop me at work.
My time in the NHS has marked a development in my stammering journey, where I learnt that the best speech management strategy for me is to be upfront about my stammer. In interviews this has worked well for me, especially as my experiences in speech therapy allow me to reflect on what it’s like to be a client in NHS therapy services. Generally, I’ve been well supported in discussing my stammer at work.
I’ve been laughed at on the phone or in front of large work meetings, by both managers or senior psychologists.
My challenges still include introducing myself at meetings and the dreaded phone calls. Stammering in front of clients is particularly hard as making a disclosure to someone with their own distress can feel difficult! I’ve been laughed at on the phone or in front of large work meetings, by both managers or senior psychologists.
A lot of the time when I first mention my speech, I’m met with some blank expressions or responses such as “you can relax it’s ok!”. There is still some way to go before the NHS can fully understand stammering at work, but I can completely empathise as I could be the first person they’ve met who stammers.
I often I feel I have to be the one to take on the role of "educator" and to accept my individual responsibility to be honest at work about my speech
I often I feel I have to be the one to take on the role of "educator" and to accept my individual responsibility to be honest at work about my speech and how I can be best supported. But I love what I do and I’ve been fortunate enough to be supervised by incredible psychologists, who have always treated me with kindness and understanding.