When was « De Bouche à Oreille » founded? What inspired you to start the business?
De Bouche à Oreille was founded in 2018 by fellow Speech Therapist Stéphanie Younes. As a Speech and Language Therapist, opening our first practice would be considered a remarkable accomplishment as the experience gained from a clinical setting is keenly rich and strongly valuable. A clinical practice challenges you to combine your sense of analysis with the given research to be able to independently exercise your profession to your utmost standards, principles, and foundation.
What does « De Bouche à Oreille » stand for?
The famous French expression “De Bouche à Oreille”, translated to English as “From Mouth to Ear”, symbolizes an essential form of communication between human beings. And as therapists whose main mission is to promote communication and ensure social inclusion of all individuals, the name “De Bouche à Oreille” was borrowed to explicitly express our center’s main focus and goal.
What is the mission & vision of « De Bouche à Oreille »?
In therapy, we aim to:
- Provide children, adolescents, and adults with effective evidence-based practices that can help them reach their potential and improve their skills;
- Spread awareness about the different speech, motor, psychological, cognitive-related disabilities to promote inclusion in our society and get rid of discrimination and stigmatization;
- Mobilize the family unit, the community, and society on the importance of instilling appropriate accommodations that ensure a fully supportive and proactive environment.
In Vocal Coaching, we aim to:
- Create a soothing environment for professional and amateur singers to discover their vocal potential and develop their talents;
- Offer voice lessons with healthy and effective techniques that are based on evidence and research to allow singers to enhance their vocal range and resonance without experiencing any vocal fatigue.
What are the shared core values and objectives that brought you two together? In what ways do you complement one another on a professional level?
Sandy: Stephanie is a true blessing, to say the least. I am uncertain if my memory will serve me right so as for me to recall all the things that I should say about our friendship-then-partnership, yet there are a few considerable traits that are impossible to miss. Dedication, earnestness, knowledge, motivation, and perseverance are what define Stephanie’s professionalism. Through the ups and downs of work development, it is a blessing to have a partner that stands firm with you in the face of any unpredictability and that pushes you to grow stronger. Get you a partner like that.
Stephanie: When I founded De Bouche à Oreille, I was hoping to find a partner who would be passionate, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. And then Sandy came into my life most unpredictably! And today I can confidently say that I was blessed with the most devoted, wise, caring, and supportive partner I could ever ask for. I admire her love for Speech Therapy, always seeking the best and investing in her knowledge to offer the best to her patients. Get you a partner like that.
What is your work methodology at « De Bouche à Oreille »? What is the added value that distinguishes your business module and services within the industry?
“Assess. Plan. Treat” is the motto of our workmanship. As healthcare professionals, we realize that any client that turns to us for consultation/intervention should be rightfully heard and assessed so that his/her needs may be fully understood and cared for. We rely on both a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of our clients’ complaints and we are determined to create an individualized intervention plan that will be conveyed through a successful and effective therapy program.
We consider that our priority as professionals is to go in our evaluations and interventions with a critical thinking mindset and a systematic self-evaluation approach in which we are constantly asking ourselves the right questions that will help shape our assessments and qualify them as comprehensive and exhaustive. Another crucial aspect of our methodology is holding a holistic view of the individual in front of us. We do not limit ourselves to scores indicated on paper but we seek to understand the client’s full skills, potential, struggles, challenges, and character in and outside the clinical setting.
Can you share with us one of the success stories that you had contributed to?
To us, a success story is defined by the possibility of growth, by the client’s satisfaction with the therapy services, and the change in their quality of life. Whether it is a patient that comes into therapy because of surgical removal of the larynx and comes out of therapy having learned how to talk again without their vocal box, whether it is a person with stuttering that has finished therapy with better control of their speech fluency and higher self-esteem or even a child with dyslexia who could discover and love the world of books that he/she has always fled from. Words are not enough to describe the numerous smiles that we had the chance to draw on each person’s face.
In what ways are your practices crucial for individuals looking to grow, especially in this ever-evolving digital era?
After proceeding with a simple observation of the current generation, we consider that social interactions have exponentially increased and have even become more accessible, especially because of social and digital media. Communication is an essence of the human race, and humans have an innate capacity to put themselves out there and establish relationships and interact with their peers. And they will always find a way to do so whether it’s face to face or via online platforms.
The biggest proof is the impact that social networking apps have had on the whole World. They have united people that are hundreds of thousands of kilometers away from each other. And so, our answer to this question would be that people will always seek opportunities to grow in their interactions and engagements with others, and they will always seek the right practices to properly employ their verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Our practices can be modulated through person-to-person/online therapy or coaching, or even, – to adapt to the current era – through services that are provided online such as blogs, field-related articles, podcasts, and maybe even “reels”.
What is the one piece of advice that you would give to parents worldwide?
When there’s a concern, seek the right professional help and do not postpone. Don’t just sit there and wander in your thoughts or other people’s thoughts and opinions. This will only tire you and make you weary. Healthcare professionals are there for a reason, and this reason is you.
You also have an impressive role in enhancing the performance of singers and vocalists. Can you tell us how?
Speech and Language pathologists have always had an important role in treating voice disorders in professional performers (singers, actors, comedians, public speakers, media presenters, teachers, etc.) and non-professional voice users. They work on specific vocal exercises that seek to rehabilitate injured voices and teach individuals how to prevent any relapse by applying proper vocal hygiene.
The singing lessons and vocal coaching sessions that we offer mainly target the mastering of the vocal gesture. Our Speech-Language Pathologist – who got her certificate in Vocal Coaching from New York Vocal Coaching – works on eliminating vocal fatigue, learning how to practice vocal hygiene, developing vocal potentials & expanding vocal registers, reaching higher musical notes without forcing, gaining vocal flexibility to switch from one register to another with ease, mastering different voice qualities (“belting”, “twang”, etc.) and vocal stylistic techniques (pop, rock, soul, jazz, lyrical, musicals, etc.), and most importantly, gaining confidence and mastering any vocal performance.
Each session and exercise will be specifically designed for each individual; during the first session, an evaluation of the singer’s/voice professional’s vocal abilities is held along with discussing his/her wishes and goals. This will help us elaborate on an individualized intervention plan that combines the science and the art behind the voice. And that’s where the magic begins!
What’s next for « De Bouche à Oreille » and its inspiring founders?
We consider that our goals have no limit as there’s always room for growth and development. Yet, we acknowledge that a sanitary way to grow is by laying down short-term goals that will help us attain our long-term goals. In the present time, we first seek to establish our clinic as a trustworthy organization for clients and their families to turn to for proper and effective therapy or even vocal coaching.
We thus aspire to expand our services to later on, if not soon, include a vocal studio, a place for adults to come and train the communication skills that can serve them in their professional outreach, in and out the corporate organization; a place for parents to come and find support in one another and their therapists through conferences and support groups; a place for people who stutter to share each other’s experiences and testimonials with one another. So, to summarize in a few words, we seek to establish a multifunctional center for hope and positive change.
Who are you looking to reach out to more?
We hope to reach out to singers, voice professionals, parents & caregivers, school institutions and centers for individuals with special needs, doctors, and other paramedical professionals who are in or outside of Lebanon. This is particularly achieved through our recently added service: teletherapy.