has a big dis-advantage: when you are down, there is no therapist
around to motivate you. There is no one to challenge and remind you
of the goals set by you, just a few days ago. You have to help
yourself. It is like climbing your own shoulders to get out of the
pit you have fallen in. Is it possible? Is it doable? For disciplined
& creative people, YES. So how does a stammerer, who is already
facing frequent set backs, bad moods and worry, motivates him / her
If you are
growing up in a family, where everyone is mistakenly trying to help
you through denial: You are fine. You dont need to join that group
of stammerers. Your problem is very minimal...etc. - then, it
will be nearly impossible to remain motivated on a long course of
self-therapy. Sometime even colleagues and friends may put you off by
a chance comment: what is this funny way of speaking you have
picked up. Earlier you stammered occasionally and that was fine by
cant give up your family and friends - or change them overnight. But
you can certainly have another family, which motivates you, makes you
feel accepted, understands the struggles you are going through- and
which may even help you by providing the right atmosphere for
practice. This is the group of pws, meeting physically, or through
phone or even a web-based group. Joining such a group and interacting
regularly can psychologically help you much.
join such a group, keep a few things in mind: Many pws dont want to
receive help- they WANT to help others! This is unrealistic and a
little childish too. To help others, you have to have certain skills,
knowledge and some experience.
other hand, even a novice can help by listening respectfully to other
pws. This you should try to do as often as possible, rather than
trying to teach every one the technique or trick that may have helped
you. Ideally, a SHG is the best place for sharing about yourself
honestly, so that you can come out of that burden of shame and
isolation. Once you have participated in a group for some months or
so, try the next step: setting up and leading a SHG.
this SHG is physical, phone based or web-based, leading it would
develop your initiative, communication, people-skills, planning,
facilitation, problem solving and above all- you will be FORCED to
learn more about stammering and self-therapy.
only, when they take up such a role, many pws discover that
stammering is their last and least problem. What has actually been
slowing them down in life are other personality traits like:
procrastination, lethargy, avoidance of conflict at any cost,
refusing to plan ahead, not sharing information with other team
members, trying to micro-manage everything on their own, not trusting
others etc. The SHG becomes gradually the play ground where they
learn these and many more skills. Their focus shifts from Cure and
Fluency to effective and efficient communication. Their vision
broadens to a larger slice of humanity in stead of just worrying
about themselves. From “loners”, they transform into excellent
“team players” and “leaders”. This kind of transformation is
rarely achieved by traditional therapy.
is complete until it touches your deepest core. Otherwise there is a
danger of RELAPSE even after years. This inner transformation happens
through just one act: Accepting yourself as you are. Acceptance of
the PRESENT moment. If we recall, as a child, we hated being called a
“stammerer”; we went to great lengths to PROVE that we are not
one. Harder we tried to prove, worse the problem became. In fact, as
a therapist said: stammering is what you do, in order not to stammer.
An elaborate set of avoidance behavior and attitude took over our
non-acceptance, this kicking against an obvious fact took many forms
over the years: we often questioned God: Why me? We refused to
associate with other people with disabilities, we became obsessed
with our own issues and problems and went deeper and deeper, in a
dark hole of me and my stammering and my hurt and my this and my
we went for therapy, we did not accept whole heartedly, our
stammering and the obvious need for help. We would reason like this:
I dont stammer- not like so and so; I just hesitate a little. If
this therapist can just teach me how to say those difficult words, I
will be okay. I dont need to follow these other things which are
meant for stammerers..
the topic of our stammering comes up, in the office or elsewhere, we
are very surprised. If it is even mentioned in the annual performance
appraisal, we feel so insulted that we resign and switch job. If we
analyze, all our hardships emerge not from stammering but from our
refusal to acknowledge and accept it.
years, and after much suffering, a point comes when we can no longer
deny the obvious- we accept our stammering and associated issues,
dump all the emotional baggage and are ready to move forward. This is
the point, when any therapy, any event, any practice will help us
tremendously. More maturity comes over us, as we raise our head- for
the fist time, consider other people and genuinely ask: Why not
me?ie. if others can suffer so much, what is the big deal if
begin to fall in proper perspective. We get more concerned about
others. We learn to show our love and concern for others through
service, self-less acts of sharing and helping others.
you are truly able to say and feel that stammering was a boon in
disguise: you would not be the person, you are today, if you did not
stammer. You still sometime have those moments of difficulty while
talking, but they no more matter. You have learned the art of deeper
communication, where spoken words are only a hint, a medium, not the
essence of communication. You have become not just a good
communicator but a WHOLE person at last. You have been healed
completely. You feel no need to go out and prove that. You are at
peace with yourself and with the world.
changes attending this inner flowering are: All kind of fears have
almost totally subsided. You are no more frightened of FAILURE or of
people's reactions. You try out all those things, which you wanted to
do all these years, but never had the courage to go ahead. Second,
related change is- for the first time in life, your inner creativity
takes over your life: you explore new ingenuous ways of doing
meaningful things in life. You may write a book, become life-coach to
someone, work for a social cause, give up job and start a new
venture, go on a world tour, join Vipassana and explore inner world
with deep commitment etc. Yes, anything is possible, once you
acknowledge, accept and transcend your stammer. This is the moment,
for which Gods and your eternal Self, have been waiting for ages with
still be asking me: So...tell me for once, is there a cure or not?
listen to this story and decide for yourself:
a line on the ground and challenged his courtiers to shorten it-
without touching it. Many came forward and tried but failed. Finally
Birbal came, drew a bigger line next to it and said: There! Done!
agreed. Courtiers said- My Lord, but it is there! Akbar smiled at
Birbal and asked him to convince the courtiers. Birbal cleared his
throat respectfully and started: My Lord, if you look carefully for a
few seconds, the smaller line will disappear- as if by magic- and you
will notice only one line, the bigger one. Yes, I can see only one
line- the one I made, the bigger one.
coughed louder, with more respect and said: My lord, he is a lier.
How can YOUR line disappear? There are two lines and yours is
Birbal took Akbar to one corner and said: My lord, even you will
agree with my observation. Eyes will see only that which is bigger.
But your courtiers will need a GO to see that!
had a good laugh. The debate continues to this day. (NB: GO - Government Order)