It is an intensive interval therapy program for people who stutter. First conducted in 1987 Germany, this therapy program was named after Van Riper from whom it took several of its basic underlying principles of treatment.
It is called the Van Riper Program as Intensive Interval Therapy. It is called interval because of its block schedule system—a five-day duration of segments with six to eight weeks between the segments. It is called intensive because of its long period of session during segments—about eight hours a day.
The basic principles of this program involve the preference and utilization of stuttering modification approach over a fluency shaping approach. It also considers motivation and relapse as major difficulties in many adult stuttering therapies. In addition, it believes that therapist plays a lesser role in most adult stuttering therapies.
The Van Riper Program is done in a group—about 12 patients with two therapists. This is often conducted in a church-run boarding house. In Germany, the therapists include Andreas Starke, together with Angelika Engert and Bernd Koppenhagen.
There are five weeks overall in the process. The first week focuses on identification. The two major goals in this initial week are improving the understanding of each patient’s stuttering and making patients understand the basic concepts of speech production. This segment involves a video recording of each patient and recorded ten-minute conversational speech and five-minute reading. This is followed by lectures on speech production and analysis of the video recordings.