Fear of Public Speaking

Presenter: Jacquelyn Cohen, LCSW, BCD

Date: Sunday, November 22, 2015

Time: 10 am – Noon | 2 CEs
(Please arrive at 9:30 am for light breakfast, socialization and registration.)

Location: Merion, PA


People often experience anxiety at the mere thought of speaking before a group. 19% of Americans who were asked what their worst fear was said "death".  41%, more than 3 times as many, said "Speaking before a group."

Performance anxiety is ubiquitous.  People in all kinds of professions experience this kind of anxiety; from doctors, to bankers, to famous actors.

There are, of course, many reasons why people are so terrified. However, the intense feeling of shame that arises at the prospect of speaking before a group can feel so overwhelming that it inhibits people from seeking help or even just talking about their fears.

Anti-anxiety medication is often used before a presentation but this, of course, does nothing to help the person uncover what lies beneath their paralyzing anxiety. In this gathering we will talk about the nature of performance anxiety i.e. how people project their own worst fears onto their audience.

We will examine how to help clients identify their projections so that they can become more comfortable with themselves in front of a group. We will also identify specific techniques to teach clients so that they can feel confident and in control when asked to speak.


  1. Identify common fears about public speaking that people may be reluctant to talk about.
  2. Discuss the kinds of projections people frequently use that help create and promote their anxiety about public speaking.
  3. List at least 5 techniques that therapists can use to help their clients manage their projections and feel more comfortable speaking in front of a group.

About the Presenter:

Jacquelyn Cohen, LCSW, BCD has been a therapist in private practice for over 25 years.  She sees individuals, couples, and families and is a past faculty member of the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia.  Jackie's interest in performance anxiety arose naturally out of her experience as an actress.  She has been acting since childhood and knows, first hand, what it's like to feel anxiety- ridden before performing.   She brings her personal experience as well as her continuing work with clients to this gathering of therapists. Jackie is also co-founder of Relationship Theater.

Cancellation Policy:

PSCSW Members: There is a $5 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.
Non Members: There is a $10 non refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program.

No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours notice is given for this program.

This program is presented and hosted by PSCSW members. Both the presenter and host put a lot of time and preparation to make sure that attendees are receiving a wonderful program and feel welcome at the program. Just as in your professional life when someone cancels last minute, it has an impact on you. Please be cognizant of this when you register for this program.

Continuing Education Credits: 

For Pennsylvania Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).

For New Jersey Social Workers:  This program is approved for credits.  Programs or courses approved by boards that license social work practice in other states are a valid source of continuing education credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)10).

PSCSW Members: Please login to register and see discounted member pricing for this event. 

  • November 22, 2015
    10:00 am - 12:00 pm