My story

Stammering has ​run in my family​ for at least five generations​. My ​d​ad didn’t talk to me about his stammer for many years. When I ​began asking him questions​, stories from his life started to emerge. Like the ​acute ​embarrassment ​of being told by his primary school teacher to sing his answers in class. ​Or the frustration as a teenager of repeatedly having trouble saying his girlfriend’s telephone number to the operator.

I have a lot in common with my dad. You could call me “fluent”. Yet in my own way, I’ve experienced what it’s like to feel held back by invisible communication blocks. I’ve often ​been ​”​the silent one​”​ in groups. I’ve appeared more shy than I actually was. I’ve ​hidden in the background instead of speaking out. All the while longing to communicate freely.
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Whilst training to be a speech therapist (15 years ago), I soon realised that working with people who stammer was my vocation. I became the lead dysfluency specialist in my NHS post before founding Communication Liberation as an independent speech therapy practice. Concerned by NHS cuts and restrictions, my vision was to create a highly specialist one-to-one service, dedicated to supporting adults who stammer/stutter to express themselves more freely.

Coincidentally, around the same time that I was setting up Communication Liberation, the film The King’s Speech was released. I loved the scene where Bertie’s argument with his speech therapist led to him shouting “I have a voice!”. It still gives me goosebumps​ ​when I think of it. Why? Because having a voice matters.

This work is challenging. There’s no “quick fix”. There are times I wish I’d chosen an easier path! But here’s why I keep going: because I care about finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom to say and do what’s important. Freedom to express your true self in every area of your life.

In other words: communication liberation.

Professional biography

Sarah is the founder of Communication Liberation, an independent speech therapy practice specialising in supporting people who stammer/stutter to express themselves more freely. She has a particular interest in working with adults who have more of a covert or interiorised stammer. She believes that people who have what she calls “a secret stammer”, are often not served well by traditional speech therapy methods and benefit from an approach that’s tailored to them.

Sarah works one-to-one with clients at her practice in Central London, and with international clients via Skype. She is also a cover tutor for the speech therapy department at the City Lit (Centre for Adult Learning), which is a national centre of excellence for stammering therapy.

Sarah is registered with the Health & Care Professions Council, the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists and the Association of Speech & Language Therapists in Independent Practice. She is a member of the British Stammering Association, the National Clinical Excellence Network in Disorders of Fluency and the South East & London Stammering Clinical Excellence Network.

 

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    Sarah Leach

    Speech Therapist (fluency specialist)
    PGDip, MRCSLT, MASLTIP, HCPC-reg

    5 Staple Inn, High Holborn,
    London WC1V 7QH

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    Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists

    Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice

    Giving Voice | Speech and Language Therapy transforms lives