Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Gareth clueless on research

Gareth Gates, runner-up of Pop Idols and best-selling pop star, is definitely an inspiration for many of us on how you can really become more fluent when you work hard and are very very focused. The McGuire program is providing a good framework. However, in terms of him explaining why he stutters and why he is fluent while singing, I am sorry to say but Gareth is just a COMPLETE DISASTER. Unfortunately, he is very misinformed. So he (and the other participants) is a mixed blessing for people who stutter, because they re-enforce the message that it is just psychological or "I don't stutter when I sing because I act and I am not myself" (So who is singing, Gareth?) Success does not imply that their theory on stuttering is correct.

Gareth and McGuire people, read my blog on the latest stuttering research! Your methods are very helpful for many, but your theories are confused, fallacious and wrong.


Adrian said...

Tom, I don't believe that this is an official McGuire answer. I have done several McGuire courses and this type of stuff is never discussed by instructors. I have brought etiology up with instructors and they did not have any interest in discussing it. I think they want to focus on the basics of the program and stay neutral on etiology. Probably a smart move.

I do think this type of ignorance by Gareth is a bit disturbing though. He has put himself in a position as a spokesman for McGuire and stutterers in general (at least in the UK). This type of misinformation is going to not only misinform but make those who do know about stuttering stay away from McGuire. I hope someone in the program sets him straight.

Adrian said...

Okay, I should have watched the video before posting. Gareth did say Dave McGuire told him this! I have alot of respect for Dave but that is disturbing to hear. I hope Gareth misunderstood.

Anonymous said...

Somehow stumbled upon your blog last night and wish to comment upon what you say re: McGuire programme.
I am a McGuire graduate, did the intensive course last July, 2007.
Have you done the course?
Although I would like to agree with your views regarding this course I cannot.
Put simply, it works.
It actually works better than even Dave McGuire gives it credit for and in the past few months I got to see him personally to tell him.
What the problem is with those who relapse is a failure to stay in technique, not the technique itself.
I read on one of your blogs how you should go through a checklist to cancel out any therapy that does not work. Taking into account what I know of myself, people in general, especially stutterers, they will choose the easiest option. The facts are no easy option works aswell as McGuire. It is the fact that you breach your comfort zones that makes it work, among other things.
I saw also the Gareth Gates video. He speaks quite well on it, though does not use good technique. Many ums and ahs, too many words per breath, "topping up", not canceling poor technique, deliberate dysfluency on a feared word (banana) and probably other things I could mention. The fact he still communicates well is testament to the McGuire programme that despite him failing in a few areas of technique, at that time, he still communicated well. It was all the other aspects of the programme that came to bear such as non-avoidance, costal breathing, pefect timing, assertiveness etc..
As for the comments re: When I sing I am someone else (or similar). Although this is another subject although related I feel I have something to offer here aswell. I will not get into the why stutterers can sing debate, any stutterer knows that is a meaningless argument in terms of fixing their stutter but the whole "acting" argument is not. When you are assertive is this not acting? Acting in so far as being someone you are not normally? I see nothing wrong with acting so long as you are not trying to be anyone in particular instead of acting insofar as playing the part of the better "you". If you do McGuire you learn to leave behind the worse "you" and take on another role. You could even argue that when we stutter you are acting. You are playing the part of the "you" that is non-assertive, a stutterer, fearful, intimidated, uncomfortable, anxious, scared, etc., etc.. I would contend that when stutterers are at their worst this is exactly the role they are plaing. When they are not in that worse case scenario they look at that person who stuttered and wonder "who was that"?! Why not, in the words of a friend, "be the person you want to be" all the time, rather than the person you have become as a consequence of stuttering. After McGuire you talk louder, more eloquent, more assertive, stand with better posture, make eye contact, and a range of other things that are in keeping with what a non-stutterer who is proud would portray in terms of delivery and relating body language.
In summary I believe that McGuire programme ticks all the boxes and that nothing is even close to comparing with it's success to date.