Voice Therapy versus Speech Therapy

Voice Therapy versus Speech Therapy
by Christopher Y. Chang, MD •


There is often confusion when a patient is referred for speech or voice therapy. The first question most patients have is WHY even bother? The reason is just like an athlete who hurts his knee gets referred for physical therapy, a patient's speech/voice can also get "injured" and require therapy in order to obtain a normal voice/speech as quickly as possible without further damage. Even if surgery is done to correct an underlying injury (whether knee or voice), therapy may be required both before and after in order to obtain the best result.

The next question patients have is whether there is a difference between a voice therapist and a speech therapist. Another question, may be what type of therapy is better for a given patient? Can a given therapist provide both speech and/or voice therapy or are there therapists that can only do one kind and not the other? This confusion is quite understandable given people (and even health professionals) often use "voice" and "speech" interchangeably. Rest assured, speech and voice are two completely different words with different meanings and as such are treated differently.

Well, before going into what type of therapy is best for a given patient, one must understand the difference between speech and voice.