The Power of The Support Network Got My Stammer Back Under Control

The_McGuire_Programme_changing_lives_of_people_who_stutter

May 2020, was my McGuire Programme 20th Anniversary. My first course was in May 2000 and as well as giving me a roadmap out of the trap of stammering, the course also gave me lifetime membership. I did not know then I would need to avail of this membership twenty years later.

My Stutter, Feeling Freedom at University and Coping with COVID-19

My Stutter, Feeling Freedom at University and Coping with COVID-19

My Stutter, Feeling Freedom at University and Coping with COVID-19

“I remember after my first McGuire Programme course and feeling that sense of freedom that I’ve heard so many members say I would feel. I went back into college and was able to actively participate in class. This was a brilliant sensation and one that I had wanted for a long time.

Christie conquered her fear of stuttering and now lives her life on her terms

Christie conquered stutter to build her life

I have been at odds with my speech my whole life. Growing up I wouldn’t really talk much. Not in class, not at social gatherings, not even at the dinner table. It’s not like I didn’t have anything to say, I did, but speaking came at a huge cost. I would stutter in almost every sentence. At times I would try and force my words out. I can’t stay silent forever, right?

But overwhelmed with feelings of embarrassment, pain, confusion and fear I would decide that it’s just best for me and for whoever was listening that I stay quiet.

A New Decade Brings A New Beginning

Mary Moorehead presenting Megan Gribben with her Primary Coach certificate on the February 2020 course in Dublin

Mary Moorehead presenting Megan Gribben with her Primary Coach certificate on the February 2020 course in Dublin

Joining them on their journey were over 60 returning members who put in much time and effort into helping the 16 new students over the 3 days, as well as progressing on their own journey.

The outcome of all the hard work, courage and perseverance put in by all was ‘control’ – control beyond their wildest dreams.

We were delighted to present Megan Gribben with her Primary Coach Certificate as she had recently successfully completed her Primary Coach training in Galway in October.

Niall Fahy

Niall Fahy

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.

Tried and Tested in Cork

Jack Widger receiving his Primary Coach certificate from staff trainer David McNally

Jack Widger receiving his Primary Coach certificate from staff trainer David McNally

Throughout the 3 days we learned, drilled and practiced physical and psychological techniques. Towards the end of the course we tested these powerful techniques in the real world by talking to many strangers on street and in shops. And to top it off we did public speaking on the busiest street in Cork City. Such a jam packed 3 days!

One of the McGuire Programmes biggest strengths is our comprehensive follow up support. On completion of the course each student is assigned a personal coach who works closely with their student on a daily basis.

Megan Gribben

Megan Gribben

My own parents did not know the extent of how my stammer affected my everyday life because I simply never spoke. Silence for years and years.

After years of speech therapy with no results I was 100% certain that my stammer was the worst stammer in the world, I was hopeless. My mum finally came to me about the ‘McGuire Programme’, off we set to Galway! The only people who knew where I was going were my parents, the course was great but I wasn’t ready. I was so deep in denial, there was no way I was going to come home and tell everyone where I was! 

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