The McGuire Programme as a means to Overcome Stuttering

The McGuire Programme ANZ

There are many ways to tackle stuttering, whether its just living with it as is, doing some sort of speech therapy, trying tricks such as hypnotherapy or vitamins or doing some other types of programs.

Australian Stuttering Warriors was formed by like-minded people – people who themselves are working on overcoming their stutter and allies, people who have supported and advocated for people with a stutter. One of the common factors we all share, which contributes to us being Stuttering Warriors – we are all actively applying a particular methodology in our everyday speech – the McGuire Programme , aka Stutter School. An amazing, holistic programme dedicated to finding every stutterers “best voice” and providing the tools, techniques and training for anyone that has a stutter to begin their journey to tackle it.

What is the McGuire Programme?

It began in 1994 by Dave McGuire, an American who’d had a lifelong struggle with a debilitating stutter. It combines a breathing technique used by many opera singers with a traditional psychological approach known as ‘non-avoidance’.

  • They hold courses lasting three or four days in cities all over the world.
  • It is not a quick-fix cure. Instead, it aims to develop strong, confident speakers
  • Every Coach and Instructor has a stammer/stutter and has been through The McGuire Programme themselves. They know how you feel. They know what it takes to become an effective communicator.
  • Life-long aftercare includes courses, improvement days, support groups and an international Phone & Zoom list of Coaches.
  • The whole programme is supported by volunteers worldwide. People who have a stutter, are proficient in the McGuire Programme techniques and tools and who help support and help others – all in their own time.

To join The McGuire Programme methodology, they hold three or four day residential or online courses across Australia. During these intensive courses, they teach the physical breathing and speaking techniques and begin developing a non-avoidance approach to speaking situations. They work towards improving the speech physically, psychologically and emotionally – they know from experiences that stuttering is more than just blocking on words or sounds.

The McGuire Programme is designed for adults; however, they assess each applicant individually and look for applicants who are determined, driven and motivated to defeat their stutter. The McGuire methods can work for anyone with a stutter; however, not everyone wants to work to become an eloquent, effective speaker!

The McGuire Programme, like any other speech courses or professional development programs, does incur a cost, that allows it to continue operating, but unlike many other organisations – the costs are kept at a minimum, are for life (no hourly rates), and is not there to make a profit. The course fees provide the following items to participants for life.

  • First Intensive Course
  • Personal Primary Coach (for the first 18mths after completing your first course – minimum)
  • Follow Up Plan
  • Course Manual “Beyond Stuttering By Dave McGuire”
  • Access to Support Groups all around Australia, New Zealand and other McGuire Regions
  • Future Intensive Courses at $100 anywhere in the world
  • Telephone, Zoom and Skype Support
  • Lifetime Support and Coaching
  • Future Advanced Training Opportunities (Public Speaking, Presentations, Job Interviews, etc)
  • Global Lifetime Membership
  • 1st One Day refresher course free + monthly One Day Refreshers at nominal fees in select cities
  • Access to any McGuire Events Internationally

In Australia, Denis Wright, our current vice-president, as well as being an active course instructor and coach, also looks after the administration side of the McGuire Programme and keeps the programme running smooth in Australia, New Zealand as well as Southeast Asia – all in his own personal time, pro-bono, balancing a full time job and a nuclear family (and helping run this Charity!).

To see how the McGuire Programme works and what it is about – we encourage you to do your own research. Currently there is a documentary which follows four people that have started the process of overcoming their stutter – Stutter School on SBS Australia. Highly recommended viewing.

Why do we like the McGuire Programme as a non-traditional speech program?

We understand that not everyone who has a stutter wants to or needs to act on it. We also understand that not everyone may be ready to work on controlling their stutter in one shape or another – and that’s ok, everyone is different and everyone has the right to choose what they want.

In Australian Stuttering Warriors, our mission is to help those that do want to find a way to control their stutter and support them. We are a Charity that promotes the control of stuttering through various means, including self development, professional training and stuttering treatment programs. Our preferred approach to controlling stuttering, is non-traditional speech therapy systems – such as the McGuire Programme. All of our board members and many of our regular members have attended many McGuire intensive courses and constantly practice the techniques and tools that entail – as either participants or allies.

We know that there are many various stuttering therapy programs in Australia – but from personal experience and research, many of these share a common factor – they involve traditional speech therapy. One of our main objectives is to provide a central hub to people who want to work hard on overcoming their stutter through non-traditional speech therapy techniques – such as the McGuire Programme in Australia, for which there is currently no alternative.

 

AWS relation to the McGuire Programme

We, the Australian Stuttering Warriors have our clear Aims and Objectives, to facilitate our mission – to help people on their journey to overcome their stutter through non traditional speech techniques and provide leadership, self development and public speaking opportunities to stutterers. We are proponents of the McGuire Programme when it comes to non traditional speech methodologies, until such time when a better alternative comes along  – and as such we will do our best to help facilitate attendance of such courses to those members that need our assistance, as well as providing a safe space where these techniques and methodologies can be practiced. We also will work with other organisations and communities around NSW and Australia to provide our members leadership, self development and public speaking opportunities and help them overcome and control their stutter.

 

References

[1] https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1831859267832/stutter-school-untold-australia

[2] https://www.liverpoolchampion.com.au/story/7086237/documentary-highlights-south-west-sydney-residents-fight-to-help-people-with-a-stutter/

[3] https://www.sbs.com.au/topics/voices/culture/article/2020/12/16/explaining-why-i-stutter-my-6-year-old

[4] https://www.nowtolove.com.au/news/real-life/men-with-stutter-67439

[5] https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/69166594/stutter-school-helps-grow-confidence

[6] https://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/news/people/lancaster-man-overcomes-stutter-help-unique-voice-training-programme-657156

[7] https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/showbiz-tv/what-popular-pop-idol-stars-19947765

[8] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-56538652

[9] https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/5300093/what-is-the-mcguire-programme-and-how-does-it-help-people-with-stutters-or-stammers/