Team Professional Development Day

Written by: Julie Cohn / Treatment / July 2019

On Tuesday, July 9th, the Well Said team had a professional development day.  

Throughout the day, our clinicians shared our knowledge and research with one another.  

Here are some highlights of what we shared and what we learned!

Strengths-Based Perspectives


Megan shared research on how positive reporting about speech-language pathology clients can change the working alliance between clinicians and clients.  She discussed the importance of unconditional positive regard when writing about clients and considering their work with us.  The team shared examples of writing summary notes focusing on the positive outcomes of a therapy session and/or client progress on goals.  We discussed the importance of both accuracy and positivity in our clinical notes.

Gradient Perceptions


Megan then shared a study on Gradient Perceptions – what are those?  What makes SLP work a science is that the SLP is continuously counting a client’s verbal outputs toward their goals as either “correct” or “incorrect” (e.g. Was that a “good” production of the “s” sound, or did the client get through each sentence without stuttering?).  The concept of Gradient Perceptions encourages clients and clinicians both to assess performance on a continuum from accurate to inaccurate versus making a black or white judgment of accuracy.  Studies have shown this method to be equally useful for giving feedback and increasing client insight into their productions as the traditional categorical model.

Evidence-Based Practice & Reflective Practice

MELISSA JAMES, M.H.SC. (REG. CASLPO), Clinical Director

Melissa discussed research on how Evidence-Based Practice (making choices about how to treat a difficulty based on success that is supported by research) is not always possible, and other ways of determining whether a given treatment method is effective.  Reflective Practice is, simply, being aware of clinical decisions. An SLP is reflective when they ask questions, experiment, trust their instincts, consider previous clients with similar difficulties and what strategies were effective, expect surprise, and/or consult with colleagues.  Other examples include asking clients what they want to work on in a session in order to be most relevant rather than lesson planning in advance.  The team discussed the benefits and limitations of this kind of practice.

Expectations for Allied Health

MELISSA JAMES, M.H.SC. (REG. CASLPO), Clinical Director

Melissa next discussed the ways to maintain an enthusiastic client base – how to keep clients happy and returning for therapy.

The Well Said Team of Speech-Language Pathologists

5 Hats

MELISSA JAMES, M.H.SC. (REG. CASLPO), Clinical Director

Melissa shared her opinion on the 5 most important “hats” an SLP must wear, or 5 important skills for a good SLP to have. She considered the 5 hats to be Supporter, Interpreter, Structurer, Trainer, and Educator.  She led the team in a role-play to practice the use of the hats and identify their use in conversational scenarios.

Activities for Professional Communication Goals


Dain shared specific activities she’s found to be useful for a variety of communication goals.  The team discussed alternative ways to use some of the activities as well. Some examples included listing special days or counting to practice the “th” sound (e.g. 4th of July, birthdays); a game of “Two Truths and Lie” to work on intonation (intonation differences in list-making versus stating facts); using debates as a way to practice turn-taking; analysis of famous speech excerpts for practicing effective pausing; and many other neat tips for fun therapy sessions.

Speaking with Intention


Many of our clients say they want their presentations or other communications to sound more genuine, compelling, and interesting.  I shared some tips and tricks from my professional acting/directing background to help clients make presentations or other speech acts more dynamic.  I focused on the actor’s technique of identifying an objective for each section of a presentation.  Next, I showed the team how to help their clients use tactics and specific actions to convey enthusiasm and commitment to their ideas.  In leaning into the reason for saying something and finding a specific way to say it, people can learn to present in a way that is passionate and compelling.  Ask your clinician if you want to learn how to use this technique.

At our PD Day, we shared clinical knowledge from our diverse educational and cultural backgrounds, and discussed new ideas for how to give our clients the best treatment.  We hope to bring our new skills to work for you!

To speak with one of the speech-language pathologists at Well Said: Toronto Speech Therapy, schedule an initial consultation by clicking the link below or calling (647) 795-5277.