Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 7, No 2 (2016)

There is no cure for this’: An exploration of the professional identities of Speech and Language Therapists

Mary O' Dwyer, Margaret Leahy
Issued Date: 17 Oct 2016

Abstract


Professional identities as a concept, and identities ascribed to speech and language therapists (SLTs) by people who stutter are the focus of this paper. A descriptive model is presented, outlining aspects of the co-construction of professional identities. People who stutter attend speech and language therapy and co-construct their own identities and the professional identities of SLTs in the process. Data from interviews with people who stutter is analysed using a dialogic/performance analysis (Riessman, 2008). This form of narrative analysis facilitates attention to the dialogical enactment of identities. The data leads to a focus on the negotiation of therapists’ professional identities as being able to provide a ‘cure’ in stuttering therapy with value placed on fluency – or stutter-free speech – as opposed to considering the whole person and working on feelings and thoughts as well as speech. The concept of professional identities – as dynamic and plural – is discussed and the negotiation of power relations as a facet of identity is explored.

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v7i2.29970

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