Tried And Tested In Cork

For our final course in 2019 we returned to the cultural city of Cork to the historic Metropole Hotel in the city centre. Joining us on our 3 day intensive course were 12 people who had the wish to overcome their stutter, as well as over 50 returning members.

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.

During this course we welcomed a new addition to our coaching team – Jack Widger. Jack joined the programme in 2017. He worked very hard on his own speech over the past 2 years and is now in a coaching role on the programme. He’s an inspiration to us all! Here he is proudly accepting his ‘Primary Coach’ certificate from one of our staff trainers David McNally. So well deserved Jack. We’re delighted for you.

Simon Joins Our Coaching Team

There used to be a time when I could only dream about being a strong speaker. To dream about being able to say what I want when I want. Thanks to the McGuire Programme, those dreams have very much become a reality.

My mother always said to me “Simon, I’ll keep looking until we find something to help your speech.” In 2009 she came across the McGuire Programme. I was 14 years of age at the time and had already given up. I accepted the fact that I was going to stammer out of control for the rest of my life. I remember coming home from school and she told me that she rang Joe and there was a course coming up in Cork and that if I wanted to, I could do it. In my head I was saying “I’ve tried everything else, why is this different, why should this work”? But I was willing to give it a go. This was it. My last hope.

Off we went to Cork for the course and I couldn’t believe it. I was surrounded by people who had the same problem as me. I wasn’t alone. In 3 days I had transformed into a confident speaker. It was a dream come true. Fast forward 2 years and I’m doing really well. I’m confident. I have no fear. I am that person that I so desperately wanted to be.

Then one day I decided to stop working and very quickly my speech went downhill. Back in the swamp. My speech was now worse than it ever was. Long story short for roughly 7 years I stayed in the swamp. I was fine with other McGuire people but in the real world my speech had fallen apart. I was embarrassed to pick up the phone and reach out for help from the coaches. I was ashamed at myself that I had given up and failed. I was now 21 and was working as an apprentice plasterer and one Friday I quit my job because I couldn’t speak to my boss. Every time I’d open my mouth, nothing would come out. I had given up on life. I went home that evening and I broke down in tears and I said to my mam that I needed to go back on the McGuire Programme. I’m sick of this stammer controlling me.

A year and a half ago I built up the courage to come back  It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows but every day since I have challenged and pushed myself and faced my fears head on and have slowly grown into a strong, confident speaker . No more holding back. No more running away. Practice, practice, practice. Time and effort has transformed me. 

Simon Madden

Megan’s Turnaround

It’s extremely hard for me to put into words what this programme has done for me. I joined this programme at the age of 17, I was scared, embarrassed and ashamed of having a stammer, or being different from everyone my age! I had a multitude of tricks and avoidance behaviours. The first time I spoke to my own dad on a telephone was after my first McGuire course.

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! 

The turnaround for me was the birth of my niece, I set a small goal of being able to read stories for her. That one goal changed my entire life. 

In October 2017 I made a decision to return to the McGuire Programme. I had to try again. It was the most nerve wracking train journey of my life as my stammer was worse than ever. However the support I received on that course & still receive to this day will genuinely stay with me forever. I slowly built up my goals , I was honest, I knew what I didn’t do the first time around and I made sure to put all of the techniques into practice, I was determined to turn the panic into fun.  I challenged that little voice inside my head that told me for years ‘you can’t do this Megan’.

The past two years have been the most magical of my life! I have reached a level of freedom in my speech I have only ever dreamed about thanks to a lot of hard work, courage and support. I’m so excited about what is to come.

Megan Gribben