Voice Therapy & Transgender Communication
Individuals who go through a gender identity transition experience profound change in many aspects of their lives. The ultimate goal of transitioning is to feel healthy, complete, and at ease with personal expression. The voice may be one of the last facets to alter, and it may be one of the more difficult changes to make. Transgender communication and voice therapy can be a very positive part of the process.
A 2005 article in ADVANCE Healthcare Network for Speech & Hearing highlighted the fact that shifting to a more feminine voice does not mean merely speaking in a higher pitch. People who transition from male to female want to be experienced, convincingly, as female in every way they communicate. Similarly, those who make the transition from female to male will also want to transform their voice into an appropriate expression of their identity.
Additionally, a 2015 paper published in the International Journal on Transgenderism on the subject of voice and communication change for gender nonconforming individuals acknowledged that, “The goal of speech-language therapists/ pathologists is to help transgender people develop voice and communication that reflects their unique sense of gender.”
Beyond altering pitch, successful male-to-female transgender voice therapy will help develop a more uniquely female inflection, intonation, rate of speech, and volume. A more feminine sense of word choice and manner of body language, such as posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures, must also be integrated in order to support a graceful and complete transition.
For female-to-male clients, developing a male inflection and understanding and adopting more male body language will develop confidence in your identity and appearance as a man.
Laura Smith, speech-language pathologist and certified orofacial myologist, has years of experience helping her clients achieve natural and comfortable speech. She also understands the social and emotional components of communication; her warm manner and engaging exercises put clients at ease and encourage the acquisition of new skills. With her coaching, changing the voice from male to female can be done while protecting the vocal chords from any injury, and by embracing the comprehensive shift to a uniquely feminine communication style.
Laura’s background as a Pilates instructor gives her insight into body mechanics. Her academic degree in psychological anthropology lends itself well to assisting people in leading the lives they truly desire to live.
Help is available!
Laura Smith, licensed speech-language pathologist and certified orofacial myologist, is specially trained to assist children and adults in overcoming their communication challenges. Her holistic approach takes into account the person as well as the problem.
Talk SLP LLC offices are located in the Northgate area of Seattle and on Mercer Island, allowing us to serve individuals and families throughout the greater Seattle region of Washington state. Telepractice appointments are also available, where clients can receive consultation and therapy services using online tools.
Contact us for more information or to make an appointment.