Do you use affirmations in speech therapy? I haven’t but it is one of my goals for November. We all have our inner voice that tells us certain “truths” about ourself.
A few truths that I have told myself over the years,
- “I am shy-it is hard for me to meet new people.”
- “I’m not good at big projects-it’s hard for me to stay motivated and on task. I just lose interest.”
Over time, this inner voice can become our reality. Remember the popular book the Secret from about 15 years ago? It talked about the power of positive intent-that if you wish for something and create a dream board it will come. I have to say-I made a lot of fun of this book. My two favorite suggestions were that if you wanted to get in a relationship, you should sleep on one side of the bed so that your mate would have a place to sleep-and you should only take up half of the closet. I take up all the closet-and I’m married.
I’m starting to reexamine my “truths.” While I still think that I am shy and introverted, I have to look at the evidence:
- I frequently talk to people at the store when I am waiting in line.
- I can start a conversation with people and at a recent cocktail party I managed to talk to about 20 people.
- I organize a monthly dinner club for friends that I met online 8 years ago when I was blogging about being pregnant
- I went to Belize for a week long wedding by myself and met a bunch of new friends.
- I find it awkward when you run out of things to say in a conversation.
- I volunteered at my son’s track and field day and spent the day making conversations with other parents.
In looking at the evidence, I think my inner voice is incorrect and I’m friendly and funny and working on improving my small talk skills. I can talk to new people and make them feel more comfortable in social situations.
I think this is the same inner voice that many of the children I work with are listening to.
- I’m bad at talking.
- I can’t get my homework done.
- I am a terrible reader.
- No one understands me.
- I’ll never be able to say that /r/.
These are my friends who usually shut down before they even start. Why try-they already know that they are going to fail. Our inner voice can be a hero-or it can cause us a lot of problems.
Does the research support the use of affirmations? I think the evidence is mixed. This study from Carnegie Mellon found that people can increase their ability to solve problems when they use affirmations. I’ve also read that affirmations can have negative impacts for people who don’t believe what they are saying.
One more example-I take a strength training class at 5:30 AM. I spend a lot of time thinking, “I can’t do one more repetition” but as an experiment I will chant in my head: Strong, strong, strong (in the GOT shame scene voice for my own amusement.) Not completely related-but I will also usually keep going if the instructor is encouraging me or stating that there are only 5 times left-but as soon as they suggest a break-I’m laying on the floor in child’s pose. The work seems less difficult when I am chanting that I’m strong vs. when I am thinking about how soon I can be finished.
Speech Therapy Affirmations
Starting your therapy session with some positive affirmations can help boost your student’s confidence and increase their motivation to try more difficult activities. Here are ten affirmations to start:
- I am creative.
- I learn from my challenges and can overcome them.
- I work hard in speech therapy.
- I am good at trying new ways to accomplish things.
- I show others I care.
- I am getting better and better every day.
- I am having an awesome day today.
- I am loved.
- I have control of my feelings
- I am calm and focused
- This might take some time and effort.
- I am learning to organize myself and my supplies
QUESTION: What do you think? Would affirmations help your students or make it more difficult for them? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!