What we do to overcome stuttering

We provide intensive 3 to 4-day courses and extensive follow-up support throughout the world to help people who stutter to overcome this affliction and become good speakers.

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But firstly, our view on 'why stuttering is so difficult to overcome?'

Most of our members, about 95%, have been through traditional speech therapy with licensed, trained professionals with little or no lasting results. 

We consider our approach to be very effective, and as can be seen from our success rates, it varies from region to region and year to year. WHY? Well, after looking at this for over 26 years, our layman’s theory is as follows.

Speaking is so absolutely easy for most of the world’s population, including a great majority of 4-5-year-old kids. This fact, in our opinion, makes it very difficult for accomplished teenagers and adults who stutter to justify the intense time and effort required to master this very easy skill. The fact that we can’t do this makes us a target for disrespect from bullies that is, in fact, punishment/fear-based learning. In time we learn to punish and hate ourselves.

The vast majority of us who stutter have experienced times when we spoke at least reasonably well only to lose this skill later. Our listeners are thinking ‘yesterday he or she was talking just fine, why are they stuttering so bad now?’ And you are, at some level, thinking and feeling the same thing. More harshly, the concept is: ‘yesterday I could do what little kids do so easily, why can’t I do it today?’ This greatly contributes to the complexity, confusion and punishing ourselves.

A strange kind of phobia. Common sense tells us that stuttering is the result of punishment/fear-based learning. We were punished every time we stuttered by other people disrespecting us. Some were physically punished for stuttering. Then we learned to punish ourselves, so this ‘learned behaviour’ was reinforced on a daily basis and becomes what could best be described as a ‘phobia’ especially considering items #1 and #2 above. Enough studies on fear/punishment-based learning have been done to assume it is encapsulated deep in our subconscious and gets triggered by various stimuli and life circumstances are very stubborn, and will probably stay with us the rest of our lives.

Stuttering is severely impactful. What we say and how we say it is most of our personalities. How important is your personality?  It is the first ‘real’ impression we make on other people, and we only get one chance at it. How important is this? Some can argue that the ability to communicate through the spoken word is uniquely human, and not being able to do it cuts us off from the human race. It thereby does severe damage to our psychological and social development that further complicates the problem.

Stuttering is incredibly complex. It is a confusing interaction of mental, physical and emotional bad habits that require intense time and effort, courage and perseverance to replace with good (mental, physical, emotional) habits … all very difficult for an accomplished adult as it is, going back to item #1 above, so easy for little kids.

Our Definition of Human Speech

From a common-sense observation:

Human speech, in any language, starts with the articulation (mainly lips, tongue, teeth) and/or vocalization of sounds that are turned into words that are turned into sentences that humans use to communicate thoughts and feelings. Therefore:

Our Definition of Stuttering

This is the McGuire Programme’s definition of stuttering compiled from years observing ourselves and our members.

This is NOT how speech therapists define stuttering, but how we who stutter define stuttering in the McGuire Programme.

Looking at our definition of human speech above, stuttering is:

“failure to articulate and/or vocalize certain sounds of certain words caused by fear (of not being seen as a normal fluent speaker), that turns to panic (because we’re confused) causing the crural part of the diaphragm to contract which keeps the vacuum from being released in the thorax preventing exhalation of air over vocal cords and articulators leading to struggle and distortion in those structures and the use of tricks (distractions) and avoidance (words/situations) either before or during the incident, resulting in the emotional consequences of shame, guilt, self-hate, sense of isolation*, low self-esteem, confidence going down, fear going up.”

What is our approach to overcoming stuttering?

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To understand how we help those who stutter, you’ll need to first seriously read (and understand) our definition of stuttering above, and why it is so difficult to overcome.

Here is how we help ourselves, and you, to overcome stuttering.

Why choose us?

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There are several reasons to choose the McGuire Programme:

We are the only international programme owned and operated by people who stutter to help others who stutter.

Because of the mental/emotional complexity of stuttering, only someone who has been through the trauma of stuttering and has overcome it can genuinely understand and ‘resonate’ with what’s going on with another person who stutters and can show by example the roadmap to get to that place where (1.) speaking is fun, (2.) you do it well, and (3.) it’s easy.

Our programme has evolved and is constantly evolving to where it is becoming more and more effective for people who stutter who want to do something positive about it.

We have over 200 coaches around the world for our members to train, maintain and sustain their techniques and progress.

To keep improving our programme and what we offer to our members, we do yearly evaluations to let us know if and what changes need to be made. No other programme self evaluates to this extent.

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Membership Benefits and aftercare (follow-up support)

Some of the membership benefits include: