Juan Pablo Villagra tartamudez stutter
Juan Pablo Villagra
Santiago, Chile

First Course:
Chile, May 2015

Showing my stutter frustrated me big time...

According to my parents, my stutter started when I was around 4 or 5 years old, which was treated by a speech therapist and gave good results. Nevertheless, it came back more complex in my adolescence, due to obesity and depression that were with me back then. I always remember, with great anguish, the amount of times that I had to present in front of my school classmates and the words wouldn't come out. Showing my stutter frustrated me big time and at the same time it reflected the small amount of knowledge I had in some topics, topics that I actually knew.

I’m always grateful towards my mother who accompanied me day and night in this hard process. I tried with traditional medicine, such as psychiatrists, speech therapists, etc, to alternative medicine; reiki, regressions, hypnosis, etc.

Just like the McGuire Programme explains, my stutter was majorly covert; meaning, I knew how to hide it really well, speaking in a pretty basic way, with thousands of pre-fabricated phrases and managing a great amount of synonyms of each word. It’s very stressful trying to hide everyday something as visible as the speech. I found the Programme watching documentaries about stutter in English. There’s several and you can look for it as “stutter” or “stammer”.

My first course was in May, 2015. I was really anxious, somehow suspicious as well because I was scared that it could be another failed attempt. It was just during my first years in the working world. I had a lot of bad experiences that took me to look for a new treatment, even though I had already learned to love my stutter.

I was falling in love with the results.

My experience during and after my first course I think it was better than what I expected. For the things that really matter to me I’m very committed, and that’s how I took it. I remember that I quickly understood the technique implemented by McGuire and I was falling in love with the results. I’m very committed in each course, to the point of being really strict with the new graduates, who always say to me at the end of the course that I’m the most drastic. I believe that really committing to the course, results can be unimaginable.

Coming out of my first course I committed myself to try to spread the word about the course, considering my contact network in media. I always try to do it even when it’s hard.

Now, I face the challenging situations like the Programme taught me and it really works, with practice and stepping out of my comfort zone; also, taking advantage of the support network of McGuire Graduates, through Skype and WhatsApp. There’s always someone there to practice. And well, obviously our costal belt.

With the McGuire Programme there’s hope to understand and go Beyond Stuttering. I, for instance, am radio announcer and Facebook Live. I also published a humor book along with a great friend, and we must present it in towns, universities, schools, radio shows and live TV for all Chile.