Presenting Cures: An Abstract

At the 1998 Pacific Voice conference I presented cures of Spastic and Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) by Direct Voice Rehabilitation (DVR). I presented cures of people who had been diagnosed with the most severe Spastic Dysphonia by the UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division.

The SD diagnoses were made by the Medical Center’s experienced physicians, including my colleague, Paul Ward, M.D. who was chairman of the Medical Center Head and Neck Division, preceding the present chairman, Gerald Berke, M.D., another colleague.

Gerald diagnosed Gayle Pace as having Adductor/Abductor SD, and referred Ms. Pace to me. After my DVR program she was referred back to Gerald Berke who, according to Ms. Pace, confirmed her cured. Ms. Pace remains cured of SD fourteen years after treatment. Paul Ward diagnosed Marjorie Whitman with SD so severe that he recommended surgery. Ms. Whitman declined. She recovered a normal voice by my DVR program, and Paul confirmed that she had a normal voice; she had overcome spastic dysphonia.

A famed M.D. outside of UCLA Medical Center diagnosed the Reverend Henry Sellers with SD and gave him a Botox shot; he lost his voice for six months. Gerald Berke saw the Reverend Sellers and referred him to me. The Reverend Sellers remains cured for years even though he now has Parkinson’s Disease. Gerald diagnosed Mr. Robin with SD, advising Botox. Mr. Robin opted for DVR and has been cured of SD for four years. The Rabbi Alan Green, diagnosed at UCLA with SD, has been cured for fifteen years by DVR; his cure was confirmed at UCLA.

At UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division, my colleagues diagnosed other patients with SD who were cured by my program of DVR. These laryngologists and their SD patients include:

  • Hans Von Leden, M.D. diagnosed and referred Dr. T (cured for over thirty years).
  • Hans also diagnosed and referred Patient X (cured for seventeen years).
  • Henry J. Rubin, M.D. referred four patients with SD, all cured by DVR over a period of years.
  • Robert Feder, M.D. diagnosed one case, now cured for over twenty plus years.
  • Ed Kantor, M.D. diagnosed two cases, whose cures have lasted over fifteen and twenty-plus years, respectively.
  • One laryngologist in the UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division referred his wife, who had SD, to me. He preferred my non-medical and non-invasive treatment. She regained a normal voice through Direct Voice Rehabilitation.
  • With these 15 dramatic cures involving the UCLA Medical Center alone and since SD is ostensibly incurable, some have asked, "Did these patients really have SD?" I can only say that the renowned laryngologists at UCLA, "the best in the west," diagnosed the SD patients I treated in my private practice. I have also helped cure patients diagnosed with SD at Cedars-Sinai, Scripps, Mayo Clinic, Vanderbilt Medical Center and others.
  • Lisa and Don were diagnosed with SD by Ed Kantor, M.D., UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division and Cedars-Sinai ENT Division. Lisa was cured of SD working with me 25 years ago, and Don has been cured for 15 years.
  • R.B. had several laryngologists diagnose SD and was told it was hopeless. He found me and remains cured of SD for over 25 years.
  • Ms. Z, diagnosed by Robert Feder, M.D., UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division and a former Chairman at Cedars-Sinai ENT Division; he advised surgery. She found me and is cured of SD.
  • Launa, M.D. was diagnosed with severe SD by her laryngologist. Dr. Launa underwent a program of intensive DVR; she remains cured of SD four years later.
  • Identical male twins were diagnosed with SD at a well-known medical center, one with abductor and adductor SD and the other with adductor SD. They were told SD was due to genes and was incurable. Both tried Botox. Both underwent my intensive DVR program and successfully found excellent voices.
  • Denise Proudfoot, diagnosed with SD by Gerald Berke, M.D., tried 4 Botox shots. After praying for another answer, she found me. In a short time she was 95% better with my DVR program.
  • Ms. S. was diagnosed by various laryngologists. She tried Botox shots, years of psychotherapy, four speech therapists and still remained a severe spastic dysphonia case. After suffering for 34 years with SD, my program of DVR afforded this patient a clear normal voice within a month of intensive DVR.
  • Laurie Wolf was recommended to take Botox shots for her suspected SD condition by Daniel Troung, M.D. She declined and underwent a program of DVR. She has been cured of her voice problem for over 6 years.
  • Kim Engstrom was diagnosed with SD at a famed medical center. She tried 2 Botox shots. She was left with bowed vocal cords and no voice. She tried a month of intensive DVR. She has been cured of SD for over 6 years.
  • The litany of SD cures by my DVR is extensive. It includes the Reverend James Johnson, diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Arnold Aronson as having severe SD; he was told to have surgery. He declined, tried an intensive one-month program of DVR, and remains cured of SD for twenty years.
  • Henry Fonda, Shadoe Stevens and Keith Erickson were cured of spasmodic dysphonia by my DVR program. Fonda went on to do On Golden Pond.

These are but a few cases that I cite to indicate successes with all types of SD by Direct Voice Rehabilitation. I am grateful to my patients for permission to release their names and/or files to document and confirm cures, recoveries, and/or improvements from Spastic and Spasmodic Dysphonia by Direct Voice Rehabilitation. I am also grateful to the doctors who have availed themselves of my services to assist their patients by DVR.

Morton Cooper, Ph.D.

Additional Information

Spastic Dysphonia and Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) are among the most debilitating of all voice disorders. Ludwig Traube, M.D. in 1871 first described the condition as "a spastic form of the nervous hoarseness." In 1875, Johann Schnitzler, M.D. named the condition "Spastic Dysphonia." In 1968 Arnold Aronson, M.D., J.R. Brown, E.M. Litin, and J.S. Pearson proposed the term "Spasmodic Dysphonia." I find that Spastic Dysphonia is present when the voice remains constantly spastic. In Spasmodic Dysphonia, the voice is variable in its strangled strain with various circumstances and people.

The current treatment for SD is: 1) injections of a substance call Botulinum toxin (Botox), which was introduced in 1984 by Mitchell F. Brin, M.D., a leading neurologist, or 2) surgery. In March 1991 at Irvine, CA at a major meeting on SD, Mitchell F. Brin, M.D., fearing the long-term effects of Botox, asked that this treatment by withdrawn at the earliest possible time in favor of another substance. Serious negative side effects following the use of Botox have been reported by patients (documentation on my website).

In the December 1999 National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association Newsletter, p. 7, Gerald Berke, M.D., Chairman of UCLA Head and Neck Division reports regarding Botox (Botulinum toxin):

…there are some obvious drawbacks. It requires lifelong visits from 4 to 10 times per year for repeat injections. The injections are not inexpensive. The interval between post injection breathiness, good voice, and the return of symptoms may not be very long in some patients. Hypersensitivity and antibody formation have been shown to produce some long term structural changes in muscle cells.

My approach to this so-called "hopeless" voice disorder is changing the voice through Direct Voice Rehabilitation (DVR). For the past thirty-five years, I have successfully treated Spastic and Spasmodic Dysphonia patients. From my experience, SD is caused by voice misuse and/or abuse, not by neurological factors.

In 1982 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital, I presented patients with confirmed severe SD who told of recovering their speaking voices by DVR. In 1990, I again presented patients with cures and recoveries at Cedars-Sinai. The late Henry J. Rubin, M.D., a well-known laryngologist and my colleague, asked during the presentation: "We know you are the only one successful by speech therapy. Why?" My answer is, "I do not do speech therapy; I do Direct Voice Rehabilitation."

In 1973, Henry commented in my textbook, Modern Techniques of Vocal Rehabilitation:

In the fifteen years immediately preceding my retirement from the active practice of otolaryngology, I have referred my patients in need of voice rehabilitation to Dr. Cooper because his results proved to be the most consistently satisfactory. His methods seemed essentially to be quite simple, in fact to the point sometimes of challenging believability, but they worked. He explains these methods in his book, and I believe that any voice therapist who gives the a serious and unbiased trial will be agreeable surprised.

In 1993, he wrote to me:

The medical and speech professions may continue to deny your obvious successes, but it is because of unfamiliarity with what you actually do. Ignorance of your methods breeds fear, and that equates with resistance and denial.

What People Have Said About Dr. Cooper

Dr. Lee Edward Travis, one of the founders and a past president of American Speech-Hearing-Language Association (ASHA), wrote of Dr. Cooper, "He's the best in the business."

Joel Pressman, M.D., Former Chairman of the Head and Neck Division, UCLA Medical Center (my chairman) said, "Dr. Cooper is the best speech pathologist I know."

James Suen, ENT doctor to former President Bill Clinton, said of Dr. Cooper's Stop Committing Voice Suicide "constructive criticism." This book details the medicalization of voice problems and reviews ongoing cures of all types of SD by Dr. Cooper's DVR.

Robert H. Rand, Ph.D., Professor of Neurological Surgery, UCLA Medical Center said of Dr. Cooper, "I found him to be really excellent…"

Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX News wrote, "I am a fan of your work and I've heard great things about you."


I believe that any patient who has been diagnosed with Spastic or Spasmodic Dysphonia, suspected SD or any other voice disorder should be apprised of Direct Voice Rehabilitation as a potential and possible means to achieve a cure, a recovery or improvement, especially since DVR is non-invasive and dramatic results may be observed after a brief period of treatment. SD is curable by DVR. SD is a dysphonia, not a dystonia or a medical problem. If you suffer from SD, you have the choice to treat it by DVR.

I have written chapters for professional handbooks and have published in medical/scientific journals on voice and voice disorders. My experience includes being on the Staff and Faculty of UCLA Medical Center Head and Neck Division, serving as Director of the Voice and Speech Clinic. I have been in private practice for almost 40 years, and have presented cures of SD at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 1974, 1979, 1980 and 2000. I also published an account of my cures and recoveries from SD in a peer-reviewed report in the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatry in 1980. My bibliography is available on my website.

Chapters from my latest book, Stop Committing Voice Suicide on SD and other troubled voices are on my web site, as are articles on SD and DVR as well as testimonials. For those interested in the cures, recoveries and/or improvements of SD by DVR, an audio and a video of my SD patients before and after DVR are available. I invite you to listen to the voices of cured SD patients before and after DVR on my website.

This handout is intended to provide meaningful information for educated judgment regarding Spastic and Spasmodic Dysphonia and other troubled voices using Direct Voice Rehabilitation. I welcome your views and comments.