This review article distils 58 studies, collating information from people with aphasia, their families and clinical speech and language therapists summarising the seven habits of highly effective aphasia therapists. Habit 1: Effective therapists invest time in and prioritise relationships with people living with aphasia as part of the process of therapy. Habit 2: An effective aphasia therapist finds their clients a ‘rope team’ who can band together to metaphorically climb mountains. For people with aphasia, their ‘rope team’ includes other people like themselves within aphasia groups. Habit 3: An effective aphasia therapist begins with the end in mind. They take note of the expertise and experiences of people living with aphasia and ensure that meaningful activities, support from people and a positive approach are constant features of their aphasia service. Habit 4: Effective aphasia therapists use SMARTER therapy - the process of goal setting needed to be Shared, Monitored, Accessible, Relevant, Transparent, Evolving and Relationship-centred. Habit 5: An effective aphasia therapist leaves no person behind. They understand that they are a link in a long chain and actively ensure that the person with aphasia and their family are actively supported to have access to appropriate services following discharge from speech and language therapy. Habit 6: An effective aphasia therapist looks behind the mask. People can learn to, and become skilled at, masking their low mood or their anxiety. An effective aphasia therapist knows that it is likely that at some time post-aphasia most people with aphasia will experience depression. Habit 7: Effective aphasia therapists give people living with aphasia a voice. An effective aphasia therapist therefore offers communication support to clients in their care who wish to advocate or to raise awareness of aphasia. An effective aphasia therapist also understands that a strong non-profit sector will help people with aphasia have a voice.

The seven habits of highly effective aphasia therapists: The perspective of people living with aphasia.
Worrall L.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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