The voice therapy session
Voice therapy sessions comprise personalized therapeutic programs tailored to the specific vocal needs of each individual. The key ingredients for a successful therapeutic program necessarily include:
- the individual’s motivation and commitment for change
- a personal relationship of trust and respect between therapist and every individual undergoing therapy
- experiential training that validates each new vocal technique and enhances generalization
- attention to the emotional components of vocal expression
- fearless discovery of the creative dynamics of every voice.
Duration of Voice Therapy programs
Individual voice therapy programs are tailored to the particular needs of each person. All relevant parameters including medical, psycho-emotional, somatic, cognitive, social (gender,age) are critical for determining the pace and duration of each therapy program. There are no predetermined “package deals” nor is it professionally accurate to make any prediction on the duration of a particular therapeutic program, based on the diagnostic category of a voice disorder.
It is possible to offer a rough estimate of the duration of the therapy program but this is never more than an estimate, given the huge range of individual differences that are always implicit with any individualized program. In general, voice therapy programs that follow the Integrated Voice Therapy approach are relatively short-term plans aiming to be concluded within a 1-4 month time span. Commonly, one-hour sessions are scheduled on a once weekly basis.
For individuals travelling from large distances, there is the possibility of concentrating initial sessions into a shorter time span of 1-2 weeks and then continuing sessions through scheduled Skype meetings. This option is subject to a number of parameters and can only be determined after at least 1-2 regular office sessions.
Individuals from abroad must contact me via email in order to determine the possibility of developing an internet-based therapeutic program through Zoom, Skype, Viber or Messenger.
With respect to the number of sessions required, what is certain is that I make every effort to assist each individual achieve their vocal targets in the optimal and shortest possible time span, considering not only the financial weight, but also the time and personal energy that is required of each person.
In my experience, there have been cases of total rehabilitation after a single therapy session, there have been cases of completing the therapy program in the ideal time span of 2-4 months and there have been a select few cases that have required up to 5,6 or 7 months of therapy sessions. In my 25 years of specializing as a voice therapist, only a handful of cases have either dropped out of therapy or have not achieved at least partial rehabilitation of their voice. Most patients who complete their personalized therapy program enjoy permanent vocal freedom.
In certain cases, maintenance sessions may be repeated at various intervals, as required. I always remain available via email and/or Skype for advice and vocal support, until each individual feels they no longer require my assistance@!
The success of any rehabilitation program always pivots around the individual’s level of motivation and commitment to the therapy plan, as well as the quality of the personal relationship that develops between us. Voice therapy involves life-style changes that impact not only on the individual’s personal life but, possibly, also on the lives of those around him/her. Self-motivation and determination to implement modifications on personal, social and professional aspects of one’s life is a prerequisite for success of every voice therapy program.
What happens in a Integrated Voice Therapy session?
Voice disorders can be considered as a functional imbalance of the normally finely tuned and well-balanced voice production system. The Integrated Voice Therapy approach to voice rehabilitation considers that the voice production system includes more than simply the anatomical structures of the vocal mechanism, since the voice expresses the interaction (or synergy) of the person’s Mind, Body and Emotions. So, once the anatomy of the voice becomes imbalanced, the triadic synergy of Mind-Body-Emotion also becomes imbalanced. Rehabilitating the voice then, must involve all the relevant levels of anatomy as well as the triadic synergy of Mind-Body-Emotion, in order to have lasting results.
Voice Therapy with the Integrated Voice Therapy approach develops physiologically based vocal techniques that rehabilitate functional balance of the anatomical structures that maintain efficient voicing. During each session you will be guided towards gaining mastery of various critical parts of your total vocal mechanism. Each complete technique is simplified into a hierarchy of steps, much like learning to write is broken down into the component skills with which we are familiar. As you master each level and each technique, you become increasingly skilled with:
- maintaining balanced awareness of effort and control over your body and total vocal mechanism (the Mind level of the synergy)
- · monitoring and functionally modifying specific parts of your vocal mechanism (the Body level of the synergy),
- · monitoring how your voice affects and is affected by your emotional state (the Emotion level of the synergy).
Each new technique builds on skills mastered during previous sessions. You are assisted towards consolidating and generalizing your skill set by following a specified daily practice schedule that requires short bursts of systematic repetition that, in total, sum up to approximately 10 minutes of practice per day.