What is Voice Therapy?
Voice therapy is sometimes referred to as physical therapy for the voice. Voice therapists, also known as Speech Pathologists or vocologists, train you to use your vocal muscles to optimize your healthy voice like trainers train athletes to prepare their muscles for optimal use during sporting events.
Who benefits from Voice Therapy?
Vocal production is a complex mechanism that involves many muscles, systems, and the balance and coordination of the mechanism to produce a healthy voice.
Often, these muscles can become tight, strained, or imbalanced resulting in hoarseness due to intensive vocal use (teachers, customer service reps, attorneys, singers, clergymen, etc), inefficient vocal production (running out of breath while talking, talking too high or too low for your normal pitch range), and/or vocal abuse (yelling, frequently talking over loud noises, etc).
Voice Disorders can also indicate or result from a structural or medical problem due to vocal lesions such as nodules, polyps, or cysts. Conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Head and Neck Cancer, Acid Reflux Disease, even a cold can cause you to have voice loss or hoarseness. Marcia, our head SLP, is certified as a SPEAK OUT!® provider for treatment of patients diagnosed with Parkinson's related conditions whose voice has been affected. Listen to pre and post voice therapy recordings under Voice Resources.
At Best Speech Therapy, PLLC, we work collaboratively with ENTs, otherwise known as otolaryngologists, who specialize in voice disorders to facilitate informed decisions regarding your treatment options and provide you with the best care.
Voice Therapy is also recommended for transgender people to avoid being misgendered and who desire an authentic voice that expresses their true identity. See Transgender Voice Training for more information.
What happens in Voice Therapy?
Voice therapy is designed to reduce hoarseness through guided change in vocal behaviors and lifestyle changes. Voice therapy consists of a variety of tasks designed to eliminate harmful vocal behavior, shape healthy vocal behavior, and assist in vocal fold wound healing after surgery or injury. Voice therapy for hoarseness generally consists of one to two therapy sessions each week for 4–8 weeks (Hapner et al., 2009), usually not more than 12 weeks. The duration of therapy is determined by the origin of the hoarseness and severity of the problem, co-occurring medical therapy, and, importantly, patient commitment to the practice and generalization of new vocal behaviors outside the therapy session (Behrman, 2006). (Adapted from ASHA's website.)
At Best Speech Therapy, PLLC, we use a variety of methods to assist you in finding your optimal voice. Our Slps use personal and professional coaching techniques, yoga and buyteko training strategies, and clinical skills to facilitate your healthy voice. We also provide live, online voice therapy in English and Spanish.
The Dream Team: SLP and Vocal Coach
Our approach to voice therapy is interdisciplinary. It is a collaborative approach between our speech language pathologist and a vocal coach.
Our speech pathologists give special attention to the prevention and remediation of voice disorders to restore and maintain normal voice function. The SLP will initiate the training with a voice evaluation to make sure your voice is healthy. The SLP will plan to check in periodically for a joint session with our vocal coach.
Our vocal coach gives special attention to the development of full pitch and dynamic range, artistic quality, and vocal endurance. The vocal coach will help you connect your voice and your body movement for genuine expression.
Together, we partner with you to develop your voice as an instrument capable of optimum resonance, range, clarity, expressiveness, and endurance in a natural and authentic manner while expressing your inner self.
Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about how we can help you regain your speaking voice.