After Phase I and Phase II of the initial training period, members will receive consistent, daily follow up support for the rest of their lives. This means that each member will have ongoing access to the program’s coaches and can attend all future courses, support sessions, and be a part of the WhatsApp practice/support group (which provides practice calls on demand with other stuttering friends on the program).
All sessions occur over Zoom.
For some sessions, the trainees will be at home on Zoom. For other sessions, the trainees are out “in the real world” (malls, parks, on the street, etc.), but still on Zoom with the SWC training group.
Yes. Click here to see these "before and after" videos of grads while hearing them share their experience and perspective on the program after joining.
No. There is no known cure for stuttering, and we are not claiming to have one here.
What we do in the program is analogous to the fact that there is no cure for staying in good shape physically. In order to maintain one’s physical condition over the long term, one must exercise, eat healthy, get proper sleep, etc.
Similarly, we must continue to do what is required to keep our speech “in shape” over the long term. Luckily, the SWC program provides membership in a fun group setting for unlimited practice and support opportunities, for the rest of our life.
No and no.
There are no speech therapists in this program, and therefore we do not provide speech “therapy” services. What we do have is coaches/mentors who are stutterers themselves, who have made significant progress in their own stuttering journeys, and who help other stutterers on the program to drastically improve their lives by reducing their psychological and physical struggle with stuttering.
We start with the realization that it is okay to stutter. Not just telling ourselves that it’s ok to stutter, but actually experiencing and knowing that it’s ok.
We then take a “sports psychology” approach to speaking. We do this because, for stutterers, there are many similarities between sports and speaking. For example, to execute effectively they both require skilled control of one’s body, fearlessness, and the ability to control performance anxiety (a.k.a. to “get out of our own way” to let our skills and ability shine through). To use a sports analogy, we learn to focus on catching the ball, rather than trying so hard not to drop the ball. We develop the “playing to win” mentality and move away from the “playing not to lose” mentality. In stuttering terms, we stop trying so hard not to stutter, as stuttering has been described as “what we do when we’re trying not to stutter”.
Trainees learn to become the master of their breathing, voice, and articulation, and what exactly to do to handle stuttering blocks without struggle, and even to prevent them before they occur. We also focus heavily on training people up on the basics of what makes a great speaker, such as effective pausing, good formulation, eye contact, voice projection and clear articulation. We are not aiming to have graduates who are mediocre, average speakers. Instead we are working to become excellent communicators.
This first phase of the program is all about building up our courage and confidence. It includes a minimum of three 2-hour sessions (6 hours total). These are typically held once a week and trainees must attend, and participate fully in, at least three sessions. No one will be allowed to move to Phase 2 until they have completed the minimum required in Phase 1.
This phase is an intensive “course”, which will be three consecutive days (two of those days are weekend days), eleven hours per day (33 hours total in this phase). In this phase we will focus primarily on communication and speaking skills (e.g. pausing, breathing, voice projection, articulation, eye contact, formulation, etc), bringing those new skills to the "real world", and of course continuing to build the courage and confidence.
Generally age 14 and older. (Children a bit younger than this will be evaluated on a case by case basis.)