1. One participant said in a private conversation: I have been to some therapists. They never talk about these things. I feel “liberated” in some inner sense.
This could not be achieved in a one to one session. I think this happened largely due to two reasons: The person was ready for it (he had suffered enough; had searched enough for perfect “cure”. Second and equally important reason was, in my estimation: meeting and interacting freely with 30 pws with diverse backgrounds, issues and ways of dealing with life- for three days can influence us in a way, no “therapy” can.
2. We tend to go with our “common sense”. Our common sense is trained to avoid difficulties and opt for easy / short way out. So we reason- why should I use this technique, if I am doing fine without it? Why should I stammer on purpose, if I have no urge or special need to stammer with this particular stranger? This appears to be the biggest obstacle in our recovery. Many of us did voluntary stammering. Many of those who did, were in a thoughtful mood afterwards: What happened just now? I permitted myself to do, what I have been living in great FEAR of, all these years? The stranger did not react the way I expected… Why? How am I to explain this? understand this? What are the implications for my work and social life now?
This is how a very slow process of change begins. Happy journey in 2013!
3. Many of us want “certainty” more than any “cure”. We want to be certain that stammering is just a habit or just a genetic disorder. We want to be sure that one day it will go away COMPLETELY or I must learn to manage it for the rest of my life etc. etc.
Now, the problem is- whole cosmos and our life in it is based on something like “uncertainty principle” (link) ! All we can hope and try is to look at the BIG picture (not just speech) and try to make sense of it for ourselves. This is where a three day brainstorming with 30 intelligent pws plays a role. You talk, discuss, listen and shape your understanding of a richer and more meaningful life. This perhaps will not happen to the same extent or with same efficiency- in a therapy setting, over chat groups, or through emails.
I wish to conclude with thanks to everyone – including Hiten Vyas, whose write up in “The Hindu” informed and helped one participant to make up his mind and join at the last moment.