Recently I began working with a young man and the first thing I noticed was that I could barely understand him when he spoke. It didn’t take me long to realize that this young man had a terrible speech problem, but that is not why he was seeing me for counseling as I am not a speech therapist. His mother had asked that he receive counseling because of his low self-esteem.
Well within a few sessions I was able to link his low self-esteem to his speech problem and asked his mom if she ever thought about getting him a speech therapist. I was shocked when the mom told me that he had been referred to a speech therapist five years ago, but she thought he would grow out of it and never got him help.
Again, denial comes into play here. Her denial of her son’s speech problem caused her to neglect getting him the help he needed and now at twelve years old he is being teased by other children and is uncomfortable speaking so his self-esteem is extremely poor. Imagine if she hadn’t been in denial five years ago and actually got him the help she needed, perhaps he wouldn’t have developed the self-esteem issues that he is currently receiving counseling for.
When I told the mom that I was pretty sure his self esteem issues were tied to his speech problem and I recommended that he start receiving speech therapy she was shocked and honestly sadden. She had been in denial even up til that day that his speech problem was that serious. She quickly went and got him a speech therapist which she should have done five years ago. Now this young man is working with me on his self-esteem issues and the speech therapist for his speech problems and as his self esteem increases and his speech improves I am positive he will start living his life fully, the way he should have been all along.