What is a Self-Help Group?
A Self-Help Group (or SHG) provides a safe environment in which we can discuss stammering. For many of us, our fear of stammering prevents us from speaking about the issue that most occupies our conscious and subconscious thoughts. Dealing with our stammering, managing it and eventually thriving in spite of it, necessitates speaking about it openly and honestly.
What is a Women Self- Help Group?
As we know, women who stammer are a ‘minority within a minority’. Women Who Stammer self-help group is unique in the fact- it is a safe place for support where personal experiences are shared openly and honestly and there is no misleading or inaccurate information given out.
In a world that still largely does not understand stammering or the experience of the person who stammers, the safe environment of a self-help group is a lifeline. Being in a supportive environment is an opportunity for us to put our feelings and emotions into voice.
One member, after Google Hangouts call of Indian Women Who Stammer (or IWWS) shared,
Had I not made the first step in overcoming fear and shame and joining this self-help group, I might have continued living in physical sense, but it would have continued to be a living nightmare, filled with thoughts of suicide and with visits to doctors in an attempt to cure physical illnesses caused by mental anguish.
Why does Women Self- Help Group Work?
Expressing and examining our emotions via speaking about them is a vital tool in gaining clarity of what we are thinking and what we want. Sometimes we don’t even know what we want, only that we want to get out of the condition in which we presently find ourselves.
My personal view is that women tend to be more interested in the feelings around stammering, whereas men are often more interested in fluency techniques and working on their speech. I am aware this is a massive generalization but that’s been my experience when leading face to face self-help groups.
Meeting other PWS (or Persons Who Stammer), speaking with each other, discovering other people’s coping strategies, all combine to help us understand on a conscious, wide-awake level, what we want. Issues of men and women who stammer, themselves are not that different but the reactions to issues are what can be different. By seeing that other women are going through the same traumas as we are, we are liberated in that. We give ourselves permission to accept that what we are feeling is accepted and it is understood. We are not alone in our journey.
After the similar calling of IWWS, one member shared,
I used to feel very isolated and lonely. I feel this is an incredibly positive space.
What is Indian Women Who Stammer (or IWWS)?
Indian Women Who Stammer (or IWWS) is the women wing of TISA. IWWS is a group of very different women, with totally different journeys regarding their own speech and in every meeting, whether online or offline, there is one common goal, to empower women on their individual journeys and become their steady companion. We have fun too and ladies are also encouraged to share their other interests, so we get to know each other as a whole person.
IWWS is managed by a team of passionate, determined, kind, creative, and confident women:
Dr.Sweta Ruparel – A doctor by profession, Dr.Sweta Ruparel is also passionate about community work and issues. Presently, she drives the TISA MOOC along with Dr.Satyendra Srivastava. She is an integral part of the TISA Women’s Wing.
Shilpa Sagwal – A scientist by profession and wanderer by nature, Shilpa Sagwal joined TISA in 2013 and since then, working towards the cause of including women who stammer on the map. She loves to read and is always looking for book recommendations. Feel free to drop a message and she will be in touch.
Aashima Gogia – An economics researcher by profession, Aashima Gogia joined TISA in 2017. She is passionate about creating an equitable and inclusive community of and for stammerers. Feel free to drop a message and she will be in touch.