Prior to my first course, I was a covert stutterer who avoided feared words and situations.
My name is Julian Di Bez, a 47 year old from Adelaide, South Australia. I did my first McGuire course in 2000. Immediately it made a big difference to my life as I began to confidently seek out employment which gave me satisfaction and intellectual challenge that my work at that time lacked.
Eventually, I found work assisting people with a disability to find employment in the mainstream workforce and later was promoted to be the Coordinator of a regional office. I could not have achieved this without the control over my speech which the programme has given me.
My name is Cindy Melksham. I am a course instructor for the Australian programme.
I’d spent a lifetime of trying to hide my stutter by mainly avoiding every speaking situation. I was exhausted by the constant anxiety associated with this. Although I have a psychology degree, I was still working in a retail position because I allowed my stutter to hold me back.
I stuttered from about the age of 7 yrs old until I joined the programme in 2001.
Being a covert stutterer, it took me some time to acknowledge that I was a stutterer.
On a one to one scenario, I could cope reasonably well, using tricks, avoidances, and substitutions.
Within a group, I hid it reasonably well, but was only fooling myself.
I could talk to myself, animals and small children, anything that could not determine that I was a stutterer
I started to stutter from the age of 5 and it has impacted negatively on my whole life until I joined the McGuire Programme in Melbourne in November 2007. After high school, I took a customer service job but I was constantly anxious and terrified that people would judge me because I was different.
For 64 years, I lived with social anxiety and trying to hide my stutter. When alone, I could speak fluently, but with people around I would tense up and stutter. Why? I led an “outwardly” successful life with a wife, family and was active in community affairs. But nobody knew the depth of despair, shame and guilt I held inside!
My name is Peter Gishla. Before I went on first McGuire course I was very shy, not wanting people to find out I was a stutterer so I often withdrew from social interaction. I was hesitant about going on the McGuire programme because I had tried so many other things which didn’t work (they were: Slow speech, smooth speech, and hypnotherapy).
The techniques learnt on the course gave me the tools to overcome my stutter, make me an eloquent speaker and increase my confidence to a level I previously never would have dreamed.
Because of these past experiences, I started my first course with little expectation of a "magic cure" for my stutter - but I was determined to keep an open mind and apply what was being taught.
Before the Programme I would avoid making phone calls, ordering food and, of course, public speaking. Not only am I now a Staff Trainer, Course Instructor and Coach on the programme, I have won public speaking contests (like many other McGuire graduates) and achieved so many things that I only ever dreamed were possible.
Public speaking in Liverpool, Australia
Congratulations for your bravery and motivation to push on with your recovery.
Over the years, because of my involvement with the Australian Speak Easy Association, it has become crystal clear that McGuire graduates are far more successful at achieving effective communication than people who stutter treated by the speech pathology profession. There are many reasons but a few are a technique that works, empowerment rather than in a victim mentality, playing to win rather than playing not to lose, non-avoidance attitude and the important one, access to ongoing coaching and support.
New support group starts in Sydney
The sun was setting down on a jewel of a Spring day, the birds were tweeting on the branches of an old gum tree and as people in their numbers were returning home tired and exhausted from another day 'on the job' looking to get some rest and sleep... the eyes of Engadine Support Group were just opening theirs for the first time full of energy.