I joined the McGuire Programme in 2018. I had come to a dead end with my own speech. My stammer was not improving and I felt that there was nothing that I could do about it. I had heard about the McGuire Programme but I was stuck in a rut. I didn't want to take a risk and give it a go. My wife had been trying to get me to check it out for years. But I was biased and I thought that it would offer me very little. I put if off for a few years but then finally took the plunge. I have not looked back since. It has been a game changer. I now have a way out. I can follow a path that will lead to be increased fulfilment in my speech and in myself.
My stammer has always been there. I buried it deep within myself when I was a child. I wanted it to go away. I went to speech therapy but it didn't offer me much. We never talked about it in my family so I blocked it out. I was blocking in my speech and blocking it out from my mind. I did an adult stammering course when I was in my twenties and that introduced me to the 'stammering iceberg' concept and I found this very useful for visualising and understanding my own stammer. I did some voluntary stammering from this course but it never sustained because there were no enduring support structures in place.
Since joining the McGuire Programme I now understand how I can say what I want to say and not tie myself up in knots. I can be more confident and assertive. I understand that it takes daily commitment, courage and perseverance. It is not a quick fix. It is hard but the support from others on the McGuire Programme is fantastic and keeps you going. I still have a lot to learn on the programme and I look forward to the process and the benefits that it will bring me in my personal and professional life. I am very grateful that I attended my first course. I could have spent the rest of my life trying to find an escape from the dead end. Now I am very excited about my speaking future.