Voice feminisation speech therapy

Voice feminisation speech therapy

Katrien Eerdekens – Speech & Voice Therapist

“The voice is a second face.” – Gérard Bauer.

Voice feminization speech therapy involves creating a convincing harmony of voice, speech and communication that is in sync with the gender identity of the patient.

Voice feminisation speech therapy

Voice feminisation speech therapy enables the adjustment of voice, speech and communication behavior as a result of repeated training in synch with the gender identity of the patient.

“A woman’s voice is not just a higher male voice” (Mordaunt, M. 2006).

As a speech and voice therapist, I provide individual voice and communication training before and after voice feminisation surgery. The main goal of voice therapy is not just to obtain a higher pitch, but to ensure that the patient can produce a more female sound through the use of “head” resonance and a female intonation pattern. The combination of these two factors, will increase your fundamental frequency (pitch) so that it matches your voice.

How you feel about your voice after voice therapy will ultimately determine whether or not you go for voice surgery. The better and more feminine the vocal tract becomes before voice feminisation surgery (VFS), the better the outcome of the surgery. Pre-surgery and post-surgery voice therapy each has their own specific goals.

Procedure

Therapy goals for voice feminisation (Pre-surgery)

  • Improve respiration for efficient voice production and control
  • Develop feminine articulation in speech
  • Produce forward ‘head’resonance
  • Increase and maintain vocal pitch
  • Enhance female intonation patterns
  • Maintain a healthy vocal platform
  • Target gender related language and non-verbal communication traits
  • Strengthen overall female presentation

Post-surgery

  • A gradual build-up of phonation after the vocal rest.
  • Soften the larynx/vocal chords and gradually increase the overall use of your voice after the vocal rest.
  • Gain control over your own female voice timbre and resonance.
  • Female nonverbal communicative behaviors (posture, movement and facial expression).

Time investment

10 sessions of 30min and a little bit of homework everyday.

Voice training with or without surgery?

Based on my insights as a professional speech- and voicetherapist, I’m strongly convinced that my patients should work towards a healthy voice and not only to achieve an “acceptable tone of voice with a higher frequency”. This is why it’s important and ideal to combine surgery to the vocal chords with intensive voice therapy.

For transwomen, doing individual exercises without professional guidance can potentially result in oedema, irritation or even nodules on the vochal chords. Working with many patients has shown that this generally puts a great deal of tension on the patients larynx, which we try to avoid in our sessions.

My specific focus as a speech therapist is to help you gain control over crucial aspects such as breathing, resonance, intonation, melody and the combination of these factors with a natural non-verbal communication as a women.

Conclusion: the concept developed in cooperation with Dr Remacle offers a great combination of the physical and psychological transformation.

Appointment

FAQ

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