Ciaran McGonagle on how he gained control of his stammer

TV3’s School for Stammerers, which airs tonight at 9pm, follows six people as they try to gain control of their stammers.

They are participating in the McGuire Programme, a course which works on the physical and psychological elements of the stammer.

Ciaran McGonagle, now a coach on the course, is himself a former stammerer. He spoke to Matt about how it affected his everyday life.

Ciaran describes having a stammer as "frustrating." It began at age five or six and resulted in "feelings of guilt and shame - you feel like people think you’re stupid."

As a result of his stammer, he would avoid conversations and phone calls, as well as replacing words he had particular difficulty with. Eventually he decided that he needed to try and do something about it, which is when he got involved with the McGuire Programme.

Ciaran now wears a belt which serves physical and psychological purposes. It teaches him a new way to breathe and helps give him confidence in his interactions with people.

His advice to other people who feel debilitated by their stammer is to reach out for help.

"If something affects you in a negative way, you should challenge it."