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Gender-Affirming Voice Therapy

Adjusting your pitch will likely be a primary focus during therapy. Still, the specific training you receive depends on your unique goals. You may develop skills in:

  • Pitch modification: Lowering or raising your pitch. You’ll start with a slight pitch change before gradually progressing to higher or lower pitches. You may begin with vowel sounds before gradually progressing to words, phrases, sentences, and conversations in your desired pitch.

  • Vocal hygiene: Practicing good habits to keep your vocal cords healthy and free from injury. This includes doing vocal warm-ups, practicing good posture, and performing breathing and relaxation exercises.

  • Articulation: Using your speaking muscles to form sounds in a way that accurately reflects your gender identity. This may mean lightening the constriction between your lips, tongue, and teeth/palate or even using greater intensity, depending on your goals.

  • Resonance: Using the air-filled cavities in your throat, mouth, and nose to color the sounds your vocal cords make. Working on your resonance can help create a unique tone that feels authentic to you. Training may involve learning how to control your vocal muscles better to anchor sounds in your chest (chest voice) or in your head (head voice).

  • Prosody: Modifying the tone and emphasis you place on sounds, words, and phrases, creating a rhythmic quality (or flow) to your speech.

  • Word choice: Choosing words that reflect gendered ways of speaking.

  • Pragmatics: Adjusting your communication style to fit changing social situations.

  • Nonverbal communication: Using visual cues like body language and facial expressions to convey messages without speaking.

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