Katrien Eerdekens – Speech & Voice Therapist
Voice feminization is voice therapy for the feminization of the voice. Through repeated training, voice therapy brings the voice, speech and communicative behaviour in line with the gender identity of the patient. The main objective of your voice feminization voice therapy is that you learn how to develop a feminine sound by mastering certain important aspects: ‘head’ resonance, lively articulation and a feminine pattern of intonation. Learning these different aspects ensures that your basic frequency, or tone, rises in a healthy manner. Non-verbal communication is important as well: your posture, behaviour and facial expressions.
“My specific focus as a speech therapist is to help you achieve control of your voice with crucial aspects such as breathing, resonance, intonation and the combination of these aspects with a natural, non-verbal communication as a woman.” – Speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens
Hormone treatment leads to very little change in voice in transwomen. As a transwoman, you have two options for voice feminization: speech therapy and surgery.
As the first step of the voice feminization process, we advise speech therapy. During these sessions, we offer professional guidance via voice therapy to work on all aspects of voice feminization in a healthy manner. Voice feminization does not stop after the speech therapy sessions. You need to practice, and practice a lot. You can do this wherever you wish. Since we noticed that practising was a major stumbling block for our patients, our speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens has, together with transwoman and IT specialist Danielle Lang, developed the 2pass Clinic Voice Training App for transwomen. You can download the app, along with a few free exercises, via iTunes.
|Voice feminization is something that you have to learn through practice, and a lot of practice. In order to help you in this, our speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens, together with Danielle Lang, has developed the 2pass Clinic Voice Training App. This application is like “a speech therapist you can take home with you.” You can find the app on iTunes, in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store.|
We would like to point out, however, that the professional guidance of a speech therapist during your voice feminization process is very important. Practising without such guidance can cause irritation to your vocal chords and lead to nodules or oedema. Speech therapy will provide sufficiently good results for many transwomen. If this proves not to be the case for you, you will also need voice feminization surgery for a higher pitch. Nevertheless, research has shown that speech therapy both before and after voice feminization surgery is very important in order to obtain the best results. The better and more feminine your voice is before voice surgery, the better the voice will sound after the operation. In our experience, ten half-hour sessions and daily homework can already yield fine results.
“Based on my knowledge and insights as a speech/voice therapist, I am convinced that my patients have to work to achieve a healthy voice and not just an ‘acceptable feminine voice in a higher register’. That is why in some cases it is necessary to combine intensive voice therapy with voice surgery.” – Speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens
At 2pass Clinic, we are convinced that your voice is a second face. As a transwoman, it is very important to be addressed as the woman you are. In the shops, on the street and on the phone as well. Our speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens can help you with this. You can see Katrien for voice feminization in the form of voice therapy. Using exercises, she will help you develop the voice that matches your identity. Read the interview with Katrien >
You can now download our 2pass Clinic Voice Training app from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Our speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens developed this app in collaboration with Danielle Lang, one of our patients. Practice makes perfect, and that is also true for voice feminization. With the 2pass Voice Training app, our speech therapist Katrien Eerdekens is with you at home every day to help you with your voice and speech exercises. It is important to listen to your own voice and learn to incorporate the various sounds into your natural speech. With the app you can practice more effectively at home, and that will also increase your motivation.
Note that the app is a supplement to your speech therapy. The voice feminization app allows you to take home with you what you learn during your speech therapy sessions with Katrien. The app comes with a personal account so that you can track your progress. This means it is highly personalized, and Katrien will specify during the sessions what exercises in the app are important for you. You can record your voice and Katrien will then give you feedback on whether you are doing the exercises correctly.
The 2pass Clinic Voice Training app is also available for transwomen who are not following therapy with Katrien. The disadvantage is that you cannot use all the functions. It is thus advisable to use the app in combination with a speech therapist.
When? Every Thursday afternoon in Antwerp
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