I am a 35 year old woman who sounds like a 5 year old. I am also a high school teacher in the city. Needless to say, my voice has hurt me in many ways — professionally and personally. I have gone through one type of speech therapy program which did not help. Do you have any advice or can you refer me to someone? A psychiatrist said my high voice is related to my fast speaking. I am very nervous and anxious. She also said that I need to go through therapy because it is related to trauma I suffered as a child. Could this be true? Any advice would be appreciated.
Yes, it definitely can be true that we develop vocal and speech patterns as the result of trauma; nervous tension can also create a high pitched or squeaky voice. Notice whether or not you breathe shallowly or even hold your breath as well. If you begin to change and deepen the breath and the voice, emotions will release. Having therapeutic support in combination with the voice work would be ideal. You have to be prepared for a process that will unfold over time. It is easier to make incremental changes and integrate them into our lives rather than fast and jarring changes that can feel like another trauma. In this case, you might find singing more effective than speech therapy. Look for a voice coach with training in music therapy and a strong knowledge of physiology.