Complementing their previous self-help book for trans people, the same authors have now turned their attention to helping speech and language therapists develop their own skills too, harnessing a wide range of expert knowledge. I had always imagined SLT to be a discipline mainly focused on technique and exercise. What I got from this book, above all, was an understanding that it is a far more holistic process, reaching into the psychological domain and framing identity as the foundation of vocal presentation.
This book is required reading for all practitioners who work at the complex intersection of voice, gender and identity. Based on vivid and extensive documentation of the lived experience, it provides insightful and exceptional understanding, together with clear practical approaches. Both radical in its inclusivity and heroic in its challenge, it is a vital text for all those who endorse the right to vocal autonomy.
Coming out as one's true self, and speaking in a voice which we feel is intrinsically our own, are acts of protest, courage and resilience. This book indeed goes beyond a training guide for voice teachers, therapists and gender specialists. This is a book about identity and social justice: it champions collaboration with the community, and makes explicit the power dynamics in the clinical context.
This dynamic book draws upon the perspectives of trans and non-binary people and highly experienced and creative voice practitioners to present a philosophically original, practical and integrated approach to voice and communication work. It is psychologically challenging in the best possible ways and highlights how deeper levels of reflexivity on the part of therapists and clients can overcome subconscious biases that may influence or limit our approaches to this important work. It is refreshing in its inclusion of so many different voices, and has prompted me to think differently about how I would now enter this therapeutic space.