If you can speak fluently in just one context,
you can learn to speak fluently in all contexts.

Success Story #1

Hazel Percy concludes her 14 page testimony:

As I look back over the past five years, I realise that at different stages, I’ve been addressing each point of my ‘stuttering hexagon’ and making each one more positive.  Neurosemantics in particular has played a key role in helping me to change my beliefs about myself, and my perceptions of other people.  At this point, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Bob and Tim for all their help and for all that they do to help PWS.  I’d also like to thank John too, whose unique insight has tremendously influenced and helped me, particularly in the area of my perceptions and emotions.  And of course all my colleagues and friends on the McGuire Programme, who have helped, supported and inspired me in so many ways.   

I’m very aware that this new way of speaking and presenting myself to the world continually needs to be reinforced day by day, so that eventually it becomes habituated and second nature.  Which is why I now enjoy pushing out my comfort zone and making the most of every speaking opportunity.  For example, whenever I’m in a shop I will usually start chatting with the shop assistant (providing there isn’t a long queue behind me!).  If I’m in a queue waiting to pay for something, I will often pass the time of day with the person in front or behind me.  And I love chatting with the parents at the school gate, when I pick my children up each day.

How different life is now!  Instead of waking up each morning with a sense of heaviness, wondering how I’m going to get through each speaking situation, I now wake up looking forward to enjoying speaking as much as possible.  At last, I am able to show other people my true colours!

Read Hazel's 14 page article about her 5 year journey towards much more fluency.

Hazel Percy

Success Story #2

I am now 60 years old. Some people say that I am semi-retired, but I don’t feel anywhere near my “use by” date. From my own perspective I am just enjoying more leisure. In most respects my life has been happy. I am married and have three grown up children who are making a success of their lives. I have had an interesting and successful work career as an economist working within government in Australia and New Zealand and as a private consultant.

However, I have had some problems. As a child I developed a severe stutter. In many situations I was unable to say more that a few words without blocking. My speech improved greatly during my teen years and these improvements were largely maintained. I was reasonably fluent in most situations but I often blocked at those moments when I was trying hardest to speak fluently. As far as possible I avoided public speaking.

When I was about 30 years old a muscle spasm began to occur on the right side of my face. According to neurological advice this hemi-facial spasm (HFS) has a physical rather than psychological cause (compression of the facial nerve) and is not related to stuttering. At the time it developed, however, it felt just like having to learn to live with stuttering all over again. But the spasm was there nearly all the time, whether I was talking or not, and even when I was alone. I felt as though I was falling apart.

What followed, over about 30 years, was a long search to restore inner harmony. I sought help from a lot of different people and tried a long list of things - including relaxation therapy, yoga, biofeedback, pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies, micro-surgery, botox, the Alexander technique, meditation and NLP. Some of these things helped a little.

Since I found Neuro-Semantics (NS) – and Tim Gallwey’s inner game books – in 2002 there has been a substantial improvement in many aspects of my life, including fluency and my attitude to HFS. It would not be possible to calculate what proportion of improvement is attributable to my study of Gallwey’s books rather than to other important influences, including the NS matrix model. The way I see it, Gallwey’s books have reinforced many of the things that I have learned through NS.

Read Winton's nine page article where he continues his story including a full description of the tools he used in gaining fluency (highly recommended).

Winton Bates
New Zealand/Australia

Success Story #3

My whole life I have had difficulty speaking in front of others due to stuttering and stammering. The constant thoughts, sounds and pictures running through my mind were paralyzing enough to almost evaporate the drive I had to speak with the people that I was getting to know. It was exhausting to have the drive to do many wonderful things that this life has to offer and yet stopped by the daunting fear of what others may think of you at first impressions. This fear had me feeling like I was in an 'inescapable depression'.

The best way to describe my situation is to imagine your are about to run a race and as you are at the starting line positioning yourself to run; you are obsessively worrying how the race is going to go; what the people around are thinking of you; and, constantly second guessing your abilities along with your imagination creating worst case scenarios. It was, as if, I would unconsciously trip myself a split second just after the starting gun went off. My question had always been, "How to get away from, as I have recently called it, that 'Wall', or 'Zone' that had entrapped me?" I had this question at the start of every race that I attempted. I have since learned that positioning myself with the courage to grow would make the difference.

I would say I was stammering a majority of the time until recently with the help of Neuro-Semantics from Dr. Bob Bodenhamer. I have known about NLP since the late 1990's. It was the help of Neuro-Semantics that revealed that I needed to have the patience and understandings that are involved when communicating with others. Most of all it has helped me understand myself in a more sensible way where old habits and beliefs are diminished when social situation occur.

Not only has Neuro-Semantics helped me communicate with others without blocking, it has taught me how to communicate with myself first and foremost - even when no one else is around. How I believe in myself before and during social interactions has changed tremendously. I am not the same person I was a couple of years ago. Having the ability to risk and have fun while speaking before people is something I now look forward to. I do not experience myself as the fearful child I used to be when engaging others; I see an adult who can get the job done. I understand so well why a very popular shoe brand has the slogan, "Just do it!" The 'thinking too much' before many situations is not as necessary as we sometimes believe. I have already done the thinking part with the help of Dr. Bob Bodenhamer and Neuro-Semantics, now, "I just want to do it".

Shawn B. McCarn
Master practitioner of NLP

January 2005

Success Story #4
Two Month Follow Up ? Is It Working Long-Term?

After I had completed the consultations with Bob, I knew there would be certain milestones that would determine how effective the treatment was on a long-term basis. Those milestones included being placed in the usual "high stress" situations that would normally result in stuttering. Some examples are serious one-on-one conversation concerning uncomfortable topics, Management meetings, Company meetings, and several other speaking situations that I previously thought of as "threatening." Over the past two months I have been exposed to each of these "threatening" situations and spoke fluently through each milestone. The final milestone was met on March 21, 2002 when I was scheduled to give a presentation to the Board Members of the Company I work for. Now, prior to working with Bob, stuttering in this situation was a 100% certainty. However, even that meeting was unable to produce the stuttering again. I have tested my fluency in every situation that used to produce stuttering! And, I am happy to report that it appears to be a long-term success. The biggest difference between stuttering and fluency is that fluent individuals do not think about stuttering.

Linda Rounds
March 2002

Success Story #5

Neuro-Semantics and the NLP Drop-Down Through Pattern offer great possibilities in the treatment of stuttering. Most traditional speech therapy has centered around modifications at the behavioral level (i.e., breathing, easy onset of speech, light articulatory contacts, etc.). The perceived stigma of stuttering and overwhelming urge to "not stutter" often overpower the behavioral level strategies. Periodic relapse after treatment is common. The missing Holy Grail from traditional speech therapy has been a consistent, swift, and thorough reframing strategy for meta-states to alleviate the pre-stutter phenomenon. Success with the cognitive aspect of stuttering (i.e., fear, avoidance, limiting beliefs) is essential to lasting change. Situation and word-specific anchors form along the time-line of stuttering development. As an NLP practitioner and person with a residual, mild stutter, I was game to explore the Drop-Down personally. I have experienced a significant increase in spontaneous fluency that I attribute to NLP, Neuro-Semantics and especially the power of the Neuro-Semantic Technique the “Drop Down Through Pattern” while being coached by Bob.

Click here to read Tim's 22 Page article where he shares his journey as a PWS from childhood stuttering to the present fluency. It is a valuable and encouraging read - "Freedom of Speech:  How I Overcame Stuttering".

Tim Mackesey, CCC-SLP
Speech Pathologist
Master NLP Practitioner

Success Story #6

Note: I very much appreciate the following testimony by Walter Sturdivant who tells us his story of a life long habit of stuttering. He speaks of the many therapies that he has tried. He even worked with Dr. Wendell Johnson. He then heard of Tim Mackesey, SLP of Stuttering Specialists in Atlanta Georgia, and Tim's work with NLP and Neuro-Semantics. Walter in this article tells his complete story. I shall paste the latter part of it below. The full article may be found at:


The viability of any new model is that other people with similar knowledge can take the new model and duplicate its findings.  With Walter's story we see the results of speech pathologist Tim Mackesey, SLP of Stuttering Specialists in Atlanta Georgia. Indeed Tim has utilized these tools in assisting several clients to much more fluency.  There are others in the Neuro-Semantic Community obtaining the same results thus validating this model for PWS.

Walter concludes his life story with stuttering by stating:

"...As the 21st Century dawned, and as I began to feel my seniority deepen, stuttering became more an annoyance rather than an embarrassment.  Why was I fluent in most speaking situations except the telephone?  Was there anything more I could do here in Atlanta, as the thought of traveling to yet another disappointing clinic was hardly appealing?

"When telling my story to a group of speech pathology students at Georgia State University in July 2004 Tim Mackesey’s name was mentioned and his Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) was briefly discussed.  What caught my attention were the cognitive or emotional issues that he confronted.

"In August I had my initial interview with Tim, was sufficiently impressed with his approach and therapy began. 

"We initially revisited specific moments in my past when I had encountered severe blocks either on the telephone or in mixed company.  We “edited movies” of these events so that they became insignificant and anxiety-free.  Then I learned that stuttering followed a 1-2-3 pattern:  1) I would sense a “feared” word approaching that set off…2) anticipatory anxiety in my throat or chest that would pose the…3) fight/flight option, meaning that I would either inhale then stutter through the word or simply substitute words (flight). 

"To successfully reduce initial anxiety as the stuttering moment approached, I learned that the thought of experiencing a feared sound (plosive or fricative for me) precedes the anxious feeling and the anxious feeling precedes the actual stutter.  I learned that the initial fear, the thought that I was going to stutter, could be significantly reduced by knowing I had a way to “re-frame” the moment - that being to welcome the feeling, exhale and let the word slide out.  Also, pausing before initiating the sound often helped to deliver the word fluently. 

Since option 3) was no longer valid, I concentrated on 1) and 2) and began to realize that the plosives and fricatives that had for so long plagued me were actually harmless.  Hence, the old panic began to wane and I became increasingly aware that I could control them by this new approach in “managing my state”.  Most important, I realized the therapy taught at Iowa and at the Hollins campus treated only the symptom - the moment at which the stutter occurred.

"State Management requires dedication but, at least for me, I am convinced that this therapy is the answer, and that I can reverse the “mind-to-muscle” idea that I stutter.  That I can become fluent in all speaking situations all the time is now a distinct a reality.  I have been having more victories on the telephone and those once troublesome sounds, now free of tension, are “anchored” in my subconscious. 

"What causes stuttering and why it persists into adulthood is still debatable. Yet I sincerely believe that, at last, permanent relief from this most embarrassing, and humiliating affliction is possible through NLP methodology.         

"Finally, for me, the winner’s circle where fluency is commonplace is no longer a mirage.  Its clarity strengthens daily and during this year I shall return to that fluent person I once was – that child who never doubted the first sounds he made."

The complete article may be found at:


Success Story #7

The following comes from the "Epilogue" of PWS Roddy Grubbs' article on his journey of using NLP and NS in bringing him more fluency. In the full 31 page article you will read a summary of 4 different therapy sessions that I had with Roddy over a period of 6 weeks.  The summaries come from my notes while working with Roddy on the phone. He has made some changes to the summaries to make them more accurate and complete. The paragraphs below are from the "Epilogue" of the complete article. I encourage you to read the entire article as you will find much in the case studies and in Roddy's reacting to and handling of what he learned that has resulted in his gaining more control over his stuttering.  The complete article is at:



I realize more and more each week that re-programming one’s mind is not a quick-fix or a short-term endeavor. Talking with Bob and developing this new insight and comprehension provides a great deal of motivation and encouragement. There are times that I feel or think that I ought to be able to throw a big internal switch, and suddenly and permanently all things will have changed. I sometimes feel (sometimes wish) that, given this new understanding, I could just purge all of the old patterns and instantaneously replace them with new patterns; that I could, from that moment, just go forth a totally and completely changed person who never experiences any old patterns and their associated physiological responses ever again. I mean, ‘I comprehend what Bob is saying, I do believe in it, I know that it works because I demonstrate that to myself every day’. Sometimes I think “Why can’t I just have a big ‘Ah-Ha’ experience and then be forever changed?”

You know what that sort of sounds like? It sort of sounds like a little frustrated 4 or 6 or 8 or 10 year old boy that operates with a mindset of “I want what I want, when I want it; and I want it right now”.

But my objective adult side says, and knows, that not only are things not working out that way, things won’t ever, can’t ever, work out like that. The old patterns are burned into the cells and muscles of my mind-body through nearly 50 years of repetition. There’s no way to instantaneously purge that. They did not get established in the first place by some massive in-flooding of these patterns into some internal storage device. Those patterns were burned into my being through countless repetitive interpersonal encounters where I felt fear, apprehension, uneasiness, and anxiety about interacting with another person. My objective adult side comprehends that they have to be replaced through a slower moving effort of repetition, repetition, and more repetition.

I’m on the leading portion of this new trend curve. First of all, I am now aware of things that 6 weeks ago I had no comprehension. Second, I bring to many interpersonal encounters each day an awareness of the mind-set, and its associated dynamics, that have been the characteristic way, almost the instinctual way, that I have brought with me for almost 50 years. I also bring, at the same time, the knowledge of how to change my internal state of mind, how to access resources that empower me, and how to re-frame or alter that old mind-set and to operate out of a new mind-set. Some days I achieve ‘what I’m trying to achieve’ less than on other days. At the end of some days, I feel like ‘Wow! What a great and successful day!’ At the end of other days I feel like ‘Darn! That wasn’t nearly as good as I had wanted’. Some days I realize that somehow the day just ‘got away from me’.

So, I step back from this and acknowledge that I’m not where I want to be ultimately. But I also acknowledge that I’ve come a long way in 6 weeks, and I’m sure as hell not where I was! It’s like that first year or two of skiing. I’m just getting to see and feel and know ‘what this is all about’. Man, I’m having a ton of fun so far – and I’m just a beginner! Although those black-diamond runs scare me today, I instinctively know that I will get there before too long! Will it take 50 days? 50 weeks? 50 months? 50 years? I can not tell you; I have no crystal ball. But my ‘gut response’ is that it’s somewhere between 50 days and 50 weeks. I’ll check back with you and let you know one year from today.

The complete article is at:


Success Story #8

I met Bob while taking the Meta-NLP class at Gaston College. I have had for the majority of my life an uncontrollable stuttering problem. While in class, I learned how to apply Neuro-Semantics to controlling my stuttering. How do I know it worked? After having a long conversation with several people, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't stuttered at all and that I had talked great. I use to be horrified of calling people on the phone. Now, I can call people without the anxiety and the stuttering. In fact, I suddenly found myself calling people more frequently.

Lawrie Crawley
Bank of America
Charlotte, North Carolina

Success Story #9

Neuro-Semantics has changed my inner dialog! During a period of roughly five months I went from negative self destructive chatter to an inner-voice that is constantly keeping its focus on a positive answer. This resulted in going from massive blocking, hesitations, looping words, locked breathing and a very low self-esteem, to a life where new challenges became visible and a feeling of being liberated from old chains. Neuro-Semantics has enabled me to discover what fueled my non-fluency and whatever entered my mind from being a PWS. Now I can have conversations with any one I like or have to.

6 month follow-up:

Click here for a 6 Month follow up for Rene Robben who has  written  an informative article on how coming to make his own choices rather than letting someone else choose for him is not only revolutionizing his speech but also his life as well.

Click here to read the book that Rene is working on entitled A Small Guide to Fluency.

René Robben
October 2004 - The Netherlands

Success Story #10

The following information was received by me in an unsolicited e-mail 10/10/2004. This person attended the 5-Day Mastering Blocking & Stuttering Workshop in Perth Australia February 2004.  He did not wish for his name to be available on the internet but is more than willing to share individually with PWS. If you wish to communicate with him, contact Bob Bodenhamer at:



I thought I should also give you a brief report of my progress with my speech. I've been meaning to write to you a long time ago as I've been really impressed by my progress using NLP tools. Since attending the course in Perth, I've been a different person. I hardly stutter at work and I do a lot of talking. I think that the last six months have been the happiest of my life. And I've also been able to maintain my fluency at social functions (eg parties). I've never been able to do that using any of the speech therapy courses I've done in the past. At the timing of this insurgence of fluency has been impeccable as over the last few months, I had to attend a lot of parties and business meetings (in fact, I would say that on a few business meetings, my fluency has been a life-saver)

I still stutter once in a while. But now its very mild and short in duration. What's strange is that now I approach any social situation in confidence; in my mind stuttering is no longer an issue. But when I do stutter, I find myself really surprised that I actually had a stutter. This says to me that in my mind, stuttering is no longer an issue, but my body is still playing catch up. Nonetheless, I'm not too concerned about this as I always seem to be improving. Everyday, I see myself improving.

Immediately after the course, I used about 3 or 4 tools. But now, I only use the "3rd position" and "5th position" tool (from time to time, I would alternate between these two perspectives). And I think that I've used this tool so many times, now, I often automatically switch to the mentality behind these perspectives even though I'm not actually trying to be in 3rd/5th position. E.g. when approaching a speaking situation, the state of my mind is already as if I'm at a 3rd/5th position even though I'm not deliberately trying to use any of these tools. And I experience fluency. Yet I can't actually verbalize/articulate what this state of mind is (I only know that it "feels" as if I'm already in the 3rd/5th position even though I'm not really practicing that tool).

Anyway, attending your course in Perth is the best thing that I've done in my life at this point. Please continue your good work


Testimony #11

The author concludes his testimony from attending our workshop, from receiving therapy from an NLP trained speech pathologist and from Bob Bodenhamer:

I thought that stammer was protecting me from saying a wrong thing i.e. English is not my first language and sometimes when I did not know how to say something I would stammer so that people think that I stammer but do not actually know what to say or how to say something. Then I discovered my "Resource state" and applied it to all those negative, unnecessary thoughts. And when I am actually in that "Recourse state" stutter disappears/dissolves. I feel calm, relaxed, confident, courageous, brave, fearless, self assertive etc. When I speak I forget about how I speak. I concentrate on what am I saying, not on how to say it. One has to be able to operate unconsciously from one's "Resource State" every time one speaks.

Now I am getting to the point where I actually enjoy conversation, total experience, not just talking. I know it will take time and I remember that it will take as long as it will take. I have to practice, practice and practice on the things we covered with Bob and don't be discouraged if I block sometimes. I don't have to beat myself up for the blocks that I have. I have to learn from them, replace failure with feedback. There are so many things to say that I did, do and are still to be done, because first I learned, then I practiced and then, at some point I just forget about these things and give up control to my "Resource State". That is where and when I speak fluently.

Click here for his full article.

(If you would like to speak with the author, contact Bob Bodenhamer and he will arrange a conversation between the two of you.)

©2002 - 2006 Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D. Min. All rights reserved.