Contact Us
Find A Doctor

Voice Therapy Goals

Voice Therapy Goals for Selected Voice Disorders:

While the listing of technical skills training programs and exercises provides an overview of some of the techniques used in voice therapy, the listing below covers the goals of voice therapy for some of the more common disorders treated with a behavioral approach.

They are broad, general goals designed to give the interested reader an understanding of the overall approach to therapy for selected laryngeal problems. Within each disorder, the goals are not listed in a chronological order. Typically more than one goal is addressed within each therapy session. Often, the order of goals is dependent upon the particular way in which the voice disorder is manifested in a particular patient. All goals of therapy are written from the viewpoint of behaviors the patient will demonstrate.

Voice Therapy Goals for Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis (UVFP)

  • Increase understanding of normal phonation and abnormal phonation in UVFP
  • Increase phonatory glottal closure
  • Decrease maladaptive compensatory   vocal tract behaviors
  • Adjust vocal tract postures for intensity gains to compensate for glottal gap
  • Adjust phrasing / breath group management to compensate for high airflow
  • Modify communicative environment to compensate for dysphonia

Non-voice goals

  1. Increase coping strategies
  2. Adjust management of glottal valving in non-speech tasks
  3. Manage dysphagia

Controversies and unanswered questions:

  1. Does the use of effortful phonatory glottal closure strategies cause the patient to use excessive hyperfunctional vocal tract postures?
  2. Can voice therapy help the mobile vocal fold cross the midline and move over to meet the immobile vocal fold?
  3. Does voice therapy help increase the rate of recovery in cases where there is a chance of spontaneous recovery of the nerve injury?

Voice Therapy Goals for Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD)

  • Increase understanding of normal phonation and abnormal phonation in MTD
  • Increase understanding of and compliance with vocal hygiene guidelines
  • Decrease excessive contraction of laryngeal muscles and inappropriate co-contraction of groups of the muscles of the larynx and vocal tract while engaged in phonation
  • Identify potential internal and environmental triggers that contribute to the abnormal muscle activation patterns during speaking
  • Modify communicative environment to limit or remove external triggers
  • Recruit other professionals to help limit or remove internal triggers

Non-voice goals

  1. Explore potential   secondary gain  
  2. Address excessive contraction and co-contraction of vocal tract muscles during non-speech activities as needed

Controversies and unanswered questions:

  1. Is MTD primarily a disorder of excessive muscle contraction or one of inappropriate activation (co-contraction) of groups of muscles?
  2. To what extent do emotional/psychological factors play a role in MTD?
  3. To what extent does mucosal   inflammation   from acid reflux or upper respiratory infection, for example, play a role in MTD?
  4. What is the rate of success of voice therapy for MTD, and after successful treatment, does MTD tend to recur?

Voice Therapy Goals for Nodules, Polyps, Cysts, and other Benign Lesions

  • Increase understanding of normal phonation, the nature of the benign lesion and abnormal phonation in the presence of the lesion. 
  • Increase understanding of and compliance with vocal hygiene and voice conservation or voice rest guidelines 
  • Modify communicative environment to increase compliance with voice conservation or voice rest guidelines, as needed
  • Increase use of vocal tract postures and gentle vocal fold vibration that reduces that collision and shear forces acting on the vocal folds and increases the clarity and richness of the voice
  • Decrease maladaptive compensatory vocal tract behaviors, especially excessive contraction of laryngeal muscles and inappropriate co-contraction of groups of the muscles of the larynx and vocal tract while engaged in phonation
  • Learn healthy loud voice production, as needed for occupational purposes

Controversies and unanswered questions:

  1. To what extent are discrete benign mucosal lesions caused by excessive or incorrect voice use versus genetic factors that make the vocal fold mucosa more susceptible to trauma?
  2. How often does voice therapy alone "cure" the voice disorder, and under what circumstances is surgery a more effective treatment?
  3. What role does laryngopharyngeal reflux play in formation of these lesions?
  4. After successful treatment, what is the rate of recurrence of these lesions?

Contact Us

Grabscheid Voice and Swallowing Center of Mount SinaiTel: 646-438-7805

Address380 Second Avenue
9th floor
New York, NY 10010

View all locations

Find a Doctor

by Specialtyby Name
Request a Referral