Voice Services

Our Voice Coaches

Anna Bouras and Eleanor Brasted deliver evidence-based therapy, with a focus on client-centered care. With a broad knowledge and extensive experience, in the professional music industry, they bring empathy and compassion to their work with professional voice users.

In addition to speech pathology, both Eleanor and Anna have long-standing careers as music industry professionals. Anna has experience with the live original music scene in Australia and a background in contemporary music. Eleanor has a background in Opera and musical theatre and in recent years Eleanor has delivered presentations for the State Opera of South Australia for their emerging artist program, as well as their National Opera Academy. 

Eleanor and Anna welcome all voice clients. Their specific areas of interest are:

Ms. Anna Bouras, BEd(primary & middle), MSpPath, CPSP
Speech Pathologist & Voice Coach

Interests: Functional voice disorders, working with singers, performers and teachers, organic voice disorders (rehabilitation), psychogenic voice disorders (functional neurological disorder); neurogenic voice disorders, transgender/gender affirming voice training, pediatric voice, vocal health/care.

Ms. Eleanor Brasted, BMus, PgDip, MSpPath, CPSP
Speech Pathologist & Voice Coach

Interests:  Functional voice disorders, working with singers and performers, organic voice disorders (rehabilitation), psychogenic voice disorders (functional neurological disorder), trans and gender diverse voice, post-COVID voice, voice disorders related to hypermobility, neurogenic voice disorders.

Do I need voice therapy? 

A healthy voice has clarity and is not rough or excessively breathy and it does not crack or sound ‘gravelly’. It is also consistent and does not disappear unintentionally for parts of an utterance. It should be easy to hear within a wide range of settings. A healthy voice has stamina so that it can usually be used throughout your working and social life without deteriorating (Mathieson, L, 2013).

If your voice isn’t able to do these things, you may benefit from voice therapy.

What causes voice disorders? 

A range of factors, from certain medical conditions to reflux, age, upper respiratory illness, certain medications, hormones, and excessive shouting can cause changes in your voice. 

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms with your voice, visit your GP, ENT, and/ or speech pathologist: 

  • Feelings of discomfort, or pain when speaking, or singing 
  • Strain in your voice
  • A change in the quality of your voice, ie. huskiness, deepness
  • Voice loss
  • A loss of amplitude/ power
  • Vocal fatigue
  • A creaky voice/ vocal fry
  • Unstable pitch 
  • Breathy quality
  • Breaks, or cracks in your speaking or singing voice 
  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngeal pathology (e.g., nodules, polyps)
  • Vocal fold haemorrhage
  • Laryngeal muscle strain or stiffness
  • Muscle fatigue
  • A feeling of a persistent lump in your throat
  • Unexplained changes in your voice
  • Voice changes post-COVID

Who sees a voice therapist? 

The following people often choose to see a speech pathologist to address issues with their voice related to the vocal demands of their chosen field of work: 

  • Singers (students, and professional singers) 
  • Teachers
  • Lawyers
  • Fitness instructors
  • Call-centre operators
  • People in counselling positions
  • People who give presentations for their work
  • Actors
  • People in the hospitality industry, or other work environments with excessive environmental noise. 

Additionally, the following people often choose to see a speech pathologist to address following medical/biological voice changes:

  • Following surgery on the voice, or larynx 
  • People who are experiencing voice loss after an extensive upper respiratory tract infection 
  • Following the diagnosis of vocal pathology by a GP, ENT or laryngologist 
  • The ageing voice.

What can I expect in my initial visit? 

You can expect your voice therapist to take a comprehensive case history of how you use your voice. They may ask you questions surrounding how often you use your voice, whether there are times that it’s particularly difficult, and questions surrounding your medical history, diet, and any lifestyle that may be contributing to your voice issues. 

In your initial visits, your speech pathologists will likely administer some informal tests, and perform a perceptual evaluation of your voice. 

You may be asked to perform some tasks so that the speech pathologist can perform acoustic and perceptual analysis of your voice, as well as be asked to fill out some surveys regarding your perception of your voice issue.  With your permission, the speech pathologist may palpate, or feel the neck, to determine if muscle tension may be contributing to your voice issues. 

Your therapist will then work with you to determine treatment strategies, and monitor your progress. 

If you haven’t had one already, your speech pathologist may also recommend you receive an instrumental assessment, such as a laryngoscopic examination, to give a more detailed assessment of your voice. 

What is therapy like? 

Working in partnership with your speech therapist, GP, and ENT, or laryngologist, you will determine treatment goals surrounding: 

  • Vocal conservation/ hygiene practices
  • Direct therapy to improve vocal techniques (vocal function/ physiological voice therapy)
  • Determining environmental modifications appropriate for your voice 
  • Hierarchical tasks- to train using your new skills across different environments, with increasing demands
  • On some occasions, counselling regarding your voice and communication.

How long will therapy take? 

This is difficult to quantify and will be determined by the nature of the voice disorder, any comorbidities, and how effectively any recommended practices can be implemented outside of sessions. 

“Perception of a person’s voice is at the heart of evaluating and working with patients with voice disorders. Patients and families decide whether the treatment has been successful based largely on whether the speaker sounds better” (Gerratt, et al, 1996). 

How do speech pathologists support trans and gender diverse people? 

A speech pathologist is a key member of your team, who is there to provide support should you need assistance with finding your true voice / or communication style that is more aligned with you. 

According to The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), these are some of the suggested areas you may wish to work on when you see a speech pathologist for your voice: 

  • pitch, or how high or low your voice sounds
  • intonation, or the rise and fall of pitch in your speech
  • resonance, or the quality of the sound of your voice
  • the rhythm of your speech
  • rate, or how fast or slowly you speak
  • volume, or how loudly you speak
  • nonverbal communication, such as your body language and facial expressions
  • language, or the words you use
  • speech sound production, or how you say sounds
  • pragmatics, or the social rules of communication, such as how to adjust your voice for different situations, how to express different emotions, and how to express yourself across different languages and cultural situations (ASHA, 2022).
References: 

Mathieson, L. (2013). Greene and Mathieson’s the Voice and its Disorders. John Wiley & Sons.

Gerratt, B. R., Kreiman, J., Antonanzas-Barroso, N., & Berke, G. S. (1993). Comparing internal and external standards in voice quality judgments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 36(1), 14-20.l

Gender-Affirming Voice and Communication Change for Transgender and Gender-Diverse People

https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/voice-and-communication-change-for-transgender-people/

Location

Suite 8, Abergeldie House
548 Portrush Road
Glen Osmond SA 5064

Privacy Statement

Phone

08 7092 4028

Fax

08 8490 2327

Email

speech@swiftspeech.clinic