This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Q: I have been told not to attend your seminars because you teach methods that have not been tested. I am new to the profession and am confused. Why do you feel it is appropriate to use and to teach methods that have never been tested?
The simplest way I can answer this question (answered before here) is to quote another writing duo:
“Clinicians’ imaginations conjure up exercises, techniques, procedures, and approaches, which are first tried on a few patients, then applied to larger numbers, then described with numbers. If they are deemed successful, someone undertakes to apply scientific standards to the experimentation, with appropriate controls and isolation of variables” (Hanson and Barrett, 1988, p. 12).
Many of the methods I use have not achieved that final status yet… But they will.
Eventually there will be professors who are not closed to the ideas I teach, and they will design research projects to test them. Until then I simply will keep teaching what I know from my clinical experiences so that other SLPs such as yourself can benefit.
By the way, the methods advocated by Van Riper beginning with his first book in 1939 were not tested until the mid to late 1970s. That means that he taught other therapists to use his methods for 30-40 years before there was any “proof” of their validity. I see my work in the same vein.
Finally: Clinical expertise is one-third of evidence-based practice. See my other posts about evidence-based practice here.
- Hanson, M. L., & Barrett, R. H. (1988). Fundamentals of Orofacial Myology. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.