I have had a stutter since my first year in Primary School. I remember those early days, when asked to read aloud in the class – the words just couldn't come out.
In the late years of Primary School, I remember I was acting in a short play in front of a crowd in school. I had to swap some words around beforehand, as I was afraid to start sentences with vowels. But a year later, when I went to the Secondary School, my fear of speaking was so high, that I've been getting goose bumps even just from thinking back of that public performance. Around the age of 15-18 my self esteem was probably at the lowest point. There were days, when I was sttuttering severly on every word in a sentence – I really admire anyone who had a patience to listen to me. There wasn't too many of them, anyway. I have been attending various speech therapies in the past. Starting with typical, once a week consultations, which did not make any difference, through some experimental ones, called psycho-stimulation, which were based on a strong suggestion. The results lasted for a few weeks, but the disappointement and devastation done by the relapse lasted for years. When I was 21, I went through a therapy, which promised to be a 100% cure in one year time. The slow speech, which was an essential element in the first three months, made my speech fluent, but the technique couldn't hold up with a more natural pace. After a year, my stutter started gradually coming back and I couldn't stop this process. Again, feeling of guilt and disappointment wreaked havoc in my confidence. Even though at my twenties I have had found some ways to cope with the stutter, did my university course and got a decent job after many years, the overall quality of my life suffered severly. I felt confined and blocked in many ways, unable to take any responsible roles in my life, as all of them would require communication under pressure – a situation I would always fail at. I heard about the McGuire Programme for the first time in 2007, living for two years in Ireland at that time. Being still under the influence of my previous therapy, I have rejected this solution, as it did not promise a 100% cure. Beside, I had a strong belief, that any sort of therapeutical speech would not be accepted in my work environment. But after a growing frustration and a series of a humiliating events, I decided to give McGuire Programme a try. I have to say, that the sheer fact of taking some action, has given me a boost of positive energy. When I was going for my first course in August 2012, I was having a feeling, that this would be the life changing moment for me. And it was indeed – the three really intensive days, made huge transformation in my speech. I came back to Dublin as a new person, totally controlling my speech, bursting with confidence. Basically anything became possible for me now! Next eighteen months had been a constant work on my speech, as I had to face all the fears from my past. I have joined a Toastmasters club, where I have given a few speeches and took a variety of roles. With a help of the fantastic support system of the McGuire Programme, I have gained a level of communication skills and confidence, of which I never dreamt before. Sharing this experience with others is now what gives me the most satisfaction.