Part 4: Self Talk (Negative and Positive), Cognitive Distortions, Affirmations

Instructions: This section is intended take several weeks. Feel free to spend a minimum of 1-2 weeks on learning the styles of “Negative Self-Talk” and helping the student identify which one they connect with most. Once that is fully grasped, you may choose to only cover 1-2 Cognitive Distortions per week; spending therapy time talking about real life examples of when the student engages in each type of distortion. Finally, take as long as needed on learning Affirmations and plan on incorporating them throughout the rest of therapy.

You (the clinician) will tell your student(s) that the lessons in this section consist of learning about negative self-talk and negative thinking patterns. You can explain that negative thinking can be so automatic, that we often don’t even notice it, let alone challenge it. It is extremely important to expose negative self-talk and thinking patterns regarding stuttering and to equip the student with truth (positive affirmations) and power about themselves to help build resilience. After watching the videos each week, work together with your student(s) to fill out the the worksheets regarding Negative Self-Talk, Cognitive Distortions, and Positive Affirmations.

Learn 4 styles of negative self-talk (The Worrier, The Critic, The Victim, The Perfectionist) originally outlined in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (Bourne, 1990)


    • Help student identify faulty thinking that is often false
    • Negative thoughts result in negative emotions, which leads to more tension, thus worsening the stutter


    • Helps show student what they ARE in control of which is their thoughts, gives them some control even if they can’t always control their stuttering
    • Identifying and countering negative thoughts results in resilience
    • Develop healthy and positive thinking statements

Negative Self-Talk : The Worrier, The Critic

Negative Self-Talk : The Victim, The Perfectionist

Cognitive Distortions: All or Nothing

Cognitive Distortions: Mental Filter

Cognitive Distortions: Jumping to Conclusions

Cognitive Distortions: Emotional Reasoning

Cognitive Distortions: Labeling

Cognitive Distortions: Over-generalizing

Cognitive Distortions: more thought...

Cognitive Distortions: Catastrophizing

Cognitive Distortions: Shoulds and Shouldnts

Cognitive Distortions: Personalization

Cognitive Distortions: Compare and Despair

Cognitive Distortions: Compare and more thought....

Cognitive Distortions: Critical Self ideas...

Cognitive Distortions: Critical Self ideas, last thought...


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