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After the editorial and scientific success of Vincere la Balbuzie (Armando Editore, Roma 2002) (fourth printing), La Balbuzie. Una Tecnica per Sconfiggerla (Armando Editore, Roma 2008), presents an updated edition of the Stendoro Rocca Method of the Cure for Stuttering: its objective is to guide the individual to eliminate stuttering at any age from 8 to 80, irrespective of the mental make-up and personality of the individual.

The technique operates basically on the laryngospasm which causes the blockage and interruption of the airflow indispensable for the production of sound; it creates the capacity for the physical control and power necessary to conquer and overcome this handicap and to finally speak fluently.

This book is intended for teachers, speech therapists, social workers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and to anybody interested in stuttering; especially those who stutter and their families.

Renzo Rocca and Giorgio Stendoro, founders of The Immaginative Proceedure in Psychotherapy (La Procedura Immagativa, 1976), The Rocca - Stendoro Institute of Clinical Psychology (Istituto di Psicologia Clinica Rocca – Stendoro, Milano), and The Stendoro Rocca Method of the Cure for Stuttering, 1989).

They have written over 250 articles for scientific publications, 13 scientific books in Italian and 1 novel. They are in charge of the Collana di Psicologia Clinica Rocca – Stendoro (series of psychological scientific books for Armando Editore, Roma).

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Having stuttered from birth, at 78 years of age she had one last dream: “To die fluent”. Now an 86 year old motherin- law, she is proud of holding her own stutter free justing with her 9 daughters in law.
This is only one of some 2000 stories recalled after 20 years of clinical experience with stuttering patients by Renzo Rocca and Giorgio Stendoro, psychotherapists and founders of the Rocca – Stendoro Institute of Clinical Psychology in Milan.
They are the ‘fathers’ of the “Imaginative Procedure in Psychotherapy” and responsible for inventing the ‘Stendoro – Rocca Method and Cure for Stuttering’; a problem “in the entire world. In our country – the two experts calculate - stuttering affects from 2-4% of the population”, with over a million and a half cases in our peninsula alone (statistic from the Italian Federation of Speech Therapists).
“But from 8 to 80 years of age, now, it can be cured.” This is the message of hope that the two specialists will present this evening at the Casinò di Campione d’Italia (Como) on the XIth International Stutter Awareness Day, celebrated thoughout the world today, in conjunction with the publication of their book “La Balbuzie. Una tecnica per sconfiggerla” (Stuttering. A technique to overcome it).
Psychotherapists, and Professors of Clinical Psychology, with concentration on post doctorate specialization in Psychotherapy, Rocca and Stendoro divide their time between Milan, Campione d’Italia and Naples, Florida.
Their first book on stuttering, (“Vincere la Balbuzie”, Armando Editore, Roma, 2002)
“Defeating Stuttering” has had four printings since 2002. With the publication of this second volume on the same subject they speak in unison in an interview with  ADNKRONOS SALUTE about their successes: “young adults who gave up their studies because of this problem, some working as truck drivers or warehousemen, later went on to the University to prepare for a more rewarding future”.
The two experts explain: “stuttering is not psychological; it is neurological. When the patient tries to articulate a word it is the brain which determines a partial or total blocking of the larynx which then causes partial or total closure of the vocal cords. Consequently the passage of air does not flow freely and verbal fluency is obstructed. Our therapy is intended to bypass this obstacle by using targeted physiological exercises to trick the brain into opening the vocal cords before sound is produced. This, in turn, allows the normal flowing of the air necessary to produce sound necessary for fluency of words or phrases.” Rocca and Stendoro assure us that “17 two hour encounters over a period of 2 months are sufficient. Groups of 4 – 6 patients are trained by specialized speech therapists with the assistance and supervision of a psychotherapist. This treatment also helps restore self esteem by creating social contact and involvement threatened by stuttering. With the newly acquired fluency the brain must be re-programmed as if reasoning in a new language”. If it now known that stuttering doesn’t originate from a problematic psyche, but rather from a “tilt” in the neurological circuits which send the necessary impulse of sound and the spoken word to the competent physiological counterparts. It is also a fact that “stuttering causes many difficulties in the lives of these patients.
First of all the lack of self esteem – continue Rocca and Stendoro – those afflicted loose faith in themselves and develop a strong dependency on the judgment of others. There may be a tendency toward isolation, impulsiveness, anxiety and aggressiveness. Children often have great difficulty learning and some have a limited capacity with bodily movement.” The two Specialists continue: “Stuttering children are practically always ‘babied and over protected’ in the family, and at school they are ‘avoided’ during oral interrogation. For some this can seem to be a kind of convenience and consequently they refuse to give up these “privileges” they have become accustomed to. These are the only patients we believe to be incurable.”
But there is more. “Stuttering conditions their lives from infancy and influences career choices (those who would like to go to the university but do not in fear of oral exams). There are also relational problems: many young adults confess “technical” problems during sexual relations ‘because there is fear’ of verbal communication”. Some choose their friends and life partners only because they have been accepted “because of this handicap”. The two Psychotherapists affirm that in rare cases newly acquired fluency has been the cause of separation, but “along with the broken relationships there are many more who have told us of ‘a second honeymoon’; a 60 year old patient thanked us because after 40 years of marriage he was able to order an ice cream for his wife on a Sunday afternoon for the first time.” Rocca and Stendoro are certain that after years and years of stuttering these patients are reborn, and their lives change, almost always for better.
Rocca and Stendoro confirm that their method of therapy cannot begin with children before 8 years of age. “Before that the vocal apparatus has not been completely developed and these children are also too young to concentrate and follow the exercises correctly.” Since 1989, the year in which they began practicing their innovative cure, among the ‘now fluent baby-patients’ they have made many young friends who send yearly statements of continued fluency and thanks for a normal life. “A Christmas note from a 10 year old boy tells us that the biggest gift this year was not from Santa but from you and your cure”.
For the official presentation of this book in Campione d’Italia this evening, sponsored by UNICEF ITALIA, the two Specialists have received many telegrams with best wishes and recognition of their work, including Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic and Roberto Formigoni, the President of Lombardy Region.
“Working with groups of children is an extraordinary experience – the two Psychotherapists happily relate – because they compete with and stimulate each other, aware they share the same affliction, trusting and without fear of being judged. It would be sufficient to observe the drawings of our young patients. Before the cure we ask them to do a drawing of what it is like to stutter, and another on how their lives have changed, with fluency. We have dedicated 20 pages of these drawings in our latest book, our 13th,” Rocca and Stendoro make clear. “Armed with colored crayons these children transform a blank sheet of paper into their perception of past and present.” The examples are multiple: “a small boy drew a barren grey tree; after the course it is decorated with colorful leaves and fruit. Another with a scream and fire comingfrom his mouth. Once fluent his drawing is of a smiling angel on a cloud.”
Our Experts conclude with an appeal to families with stuttering children, relatives or friends. “They should not feel responsible for stuttering in others, especially for their children, as stuttering is not a psysical problem. They should help them by seeking skilled help.”

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