Kara's leap of faith to deal with her stammer / stutter

Kara McMahon receiving her CII Certificate from David McNally on the October 2016 course in Belfast

Kara McMahon receiving her CII Certificate from David McNally on the October 2016 course in Belfast

In February 2008 I took a leap of faith and joined the McGuire Programme, instantly I felt at home.  A room full of stutterers is a highly unusual thing, especially when they are all talking openly about stuttering and supporting each other. Therein lies the magic of the McGuire Programme.

Kara McMahon

Kara McMahon

Life during this time was a struggle of anxiety, dread and stress during every speaking opportunity. I felt no one, even my parents, really knew the real ‘Kara’ because I was never able to communicate her to the outside world.

I didn’t think I’d ever get married and never thought I’d become a mum because no man would want a girlfriend who stammered. I never answered the telephone, pretended to have a bladder problem in school to avoid reading out in class and never initiating a conversation was my daily reality.

20 years (1996-2016) of fighting the war against stammering / stuttering.

Barry Hayes, a student on the first course in Ireland in 1996

Over the 20 years, there has been 77 courses in Ireland held in Bray, Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Limerick, Waterford and Galway.

We’ve had 32 instructors over the 20 years, each one having their own style of instructing and brought something different to the course but the end goal remained the same – helping people fight the war against their stammer / stutter.

Ciaran McGonagle

Ciaran McGonagle

These tricks and techniques however only really worked in certain situations and when the pressure was on, my speech would fall apart and my confidence would take a severe blow. 

I continued to be a 'covert' and hide my stutter from everyone, including myself, until my early twenties when I realized that I really had to address the problem.  It was causing huge frustrations in my career and personal life. 

I contacted The McGuire Programme in 2005 but it was not until May 2008 that I finally built up the courage to attend my first course.

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