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The role of role avoidance

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7341.857 (Published 06 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:857
  1. Paul Reynolds, general practitioner.
  1. Hanwell, West London

    I've only recently heard of the term “role avoidance.” Looking back I realise that it's a strategy I've been using for a long time but one which has remained nameless until now. Perhaps I should explain. I am a doctor who stammers and have just embarked on a course at the City Literary Institute in London in what is called “block modification.” Those of you who are familiar with stammering therapy will know what this entails. For those of you who aren't, it is based on the work of a number of American speech pathologists, including Charles Van Riper and Joseph Sheehan, and basically comprises three stages—identification, desensitisation, and modification.

    The identification stage involves looking at both …

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