Voice therapy is directed by a speech-language pathologist, preferably one who is specialized in the area of voice. The goal of any voice therapy program is to achieve a person’s optimal vocal quality. Many speech-language pathologists who specialize in the area of voice will tell their patients to strive for “the best voice with the least amount of effort.”
Treatment for the voice is typically not long term. It can be a brief as 1 to 2 sessions or could take 10 to 12 sessions. This is dependent on a person’s response to treatment and the type of voice disorder.
Voice problems that respond to direct therapy can include muscle tension disorders, vocal cord dysfunction, vocal cord nodules and other benign lesions, bowed vocal cords, spasmodic dysphonia, reduced singing ability, and general voice misuse.
The speech pathologist will perform a thorough evaluation that includes a patient interview, perceptual voice evaluation, acoustic analysis, and diagnostic therapy when appropriate. A diagnosis can be made with regards to severity of the voice problem. An otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat physician) will provide a diagnosis regarding any structural abnormalities (that is, vocal nodules). A team approach with the physician and speech pathologist will usually include a videostroboscopic evaluation (for more detailed information, refer to our Voice Lab).