is a case study taken from Anthroposophical
Therapeutic Speech by Barbara Denjean-von Stryk and
Dietrich von Bonin
History D: Borderline/Anxiety Neurosis. Female Patient Aged
sessions of thirty minutes each, once a week.
There is a certain
weakness of posture and the patient has an aura of
The patient comes
from a difficult family background. Her father needed care and
attention. When her mother remarried after his death, the patient
had jaundice (aged five). She had five step siblings, one of whom
was an alcoholic. The new father used to beat up the whole family.
Her mother later died of an atrophy process in the
At the age of
nineteen, stomach ulcer, anxiety, fits of rage. At the age of
twenty-two first hospitalisation in a psychiatric clinic. Later
At present she is
a single mother (unable to work), suffering from a chronic
subjective state of exhaustion. She needs a lot of sleep. No
organic results. Anorexic behaviour.
Stance: Leptosome build, weak
Breathing: The breath finds support
neither in the body nor in the articulation placements, and
consequently does not go very deep.
Voice: Her voice sits far back, with a
dark colouring and strength which is hardly audible in her everyday
Articulation: Very weak
Thinking: Her attitude basically seems to
be sceptical and reluctant.
personality and/or will in order to allow the strength she really
has to become effective.
Work on supporting
the sound with the help of the consonants. Bring about a feeling of
security by clear articulation and by working with lip sounds
strengthening her ego and helping to set boundaries.
At the beginning
exercises for a better orientation in space – above/below with the
Auf und ab Up and
auf und ab Up and
wallt die Welle
Swells the wave
schwapp. Splish and splash
For backwards and
Hin und her To and
hin und her To and
fährt das Schiff
Goes the ship
übers Meer. Over
This was followed
by dynamic speaking to liberate her soul from the different
anxieties. Practising the palate blown sound CH (like in the
Scottish ‘loch’) and experiencing her own strength of breath, the
patient was able to identify more strongly with herself. The
voiced consonant V stimulated her own inner strength (vibrating
the lower lip), step by step leading it outside. This was
following by the vowel sequence: ach, ech,
ich, och, uch. This gave support and order to
Her strong need to
yawn when speaking (a sign of her hunger for air) could be checked
with the help of the impact sounds M, K and B
with corresponding exercises. Gestures or stepping supported the
strength to make these sounds, which were then brought into
movement with the flowing L.
/u/, which is particularly good for stimulating the
peripheral circulation and brings ego presence to the lips, gave
the patient courage and grounding (accompanied by gestures and
feeling with the feet). With the help of u-exercises she
learned to give herself support and strength in particularly
difficult situations (for instance after a long drive). Moreover,
this sound help to improve her sleeping problems.
A new quality of
balance, which the patient would not want to miss any more, was
created by working on the text ‘In the beginning was the word…’
which was spoken line by line forward and backwards, ultimately
just thinking the lines silently.
alliterated text (M and L prevailing) gave the
patient a new confidence in the power of the speech to carry
Her anxiety was
reduced working with the sound NG in words she chose
Findings at the
End of the Therapy
The patient has
learned to help herself with certain sounds and exercises which she
uses intermittently during the day to keep the forces generated by
speech alive. She has also become aware of the necessity to
conserve these forces.
If the patient
takes further lessons every now and again and practises
consistently, she will be able to strengthen herself and gain new
soul and life forces that will carry her and enable her to keep
© Copyright 2005 Katherine Rudolph, Exploring The Word In Colour