Avoiding Interaction with People Because I Stutter

I spent my life avoiding new situations where I would have to interact with people. I wouldn’t go to new restaurants because I didn’t want to be faced with trying to say my order to the waiter. The small things that people take for granted – like talking on the telephone or answering questions — were hard for me because of my stuttering.

My speech not only inhibited my social life, it caused difficulties and embarrassment in my work as a trial court officer and when I helped with my family’s funeral home business.

I attended HCRI when I was young and didn’t keep up with the program or take it seriously. As I got older, I experienced even more difficulty with stuttering and decided to go back and attend the Hollins program again. This time I was more mature, applied the techniques I learned, and saw results. There was close to a 100 percent improvement in my communication.

The therapists at the institute worked with me one-on-one and made sure I fully understood what they were teaching. It was incredible how much time they spent with me. They wanted to ensure I fully understood what to do and why I needed to do it. While I still have my moments, my speech is more controllable now than it was before. Communicating is much easier and better. I am comfortable introducing myself, answering questions, and speaking in public. With HCRI, there’s a lot to it. You only get out of it what you put into it. I would recommend the program to everyone. Life for me has improved greatly.

Joe Szulewski
Massachusetts Trial Court Officer