Picking on Young Therapists

By Pam Marshalla

Q: I have been a little put off by your comments about the beliefs of young therapists. As I am sure you realize, everyone starts out as a “young therapist” at one time. Your comments do little to support your new peers in the field. I realize that what you say might accurately portray some “young therapists.” Would you also agree that this is not always the case? It is a challenge for new therapists to establish trust with a family. You may consider a more encouraging stance on the next generation of therapists.

I am sorry some of my comments offended you — I meant no offense whatsoever. I am very supportive of new therapists, often giving them products of mine at no charge, and inviting them to attend my classes at no cost, in order to help them get started.

My demonstration of the false beliefs of young therapists is a criticism of the university teaching programs, not of the new therapists. My point is to demonstrate that these therapists are at the mercy of university programs that are teaching very odd things these days.

For example, these are the comments I have heard the most often from new therapists throughout the past five years. These are things new therapists have told me they were taught in school:

  • “Children cannot make progress in therapy unless parents are involved.”
  • “Children cannot make progress in therapy unless the curriculum material is included.”
  • “Children cannot make progress in therapy unless you work on reading.”
  • “Children cannot make progress in articulation, only language.”
  • “SLP’s should never use any technique in therapy that has not been researched.”

I have not found any one of these beliefs to be true.

Thank you for your comments — I will make sure to make this clear from now on.

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