I’m Avoiding Public Speaking. Can EMDR Help?

Public speaking anxiety can be a significant barrier for individuals seeking to share their ideas, connect with others, and advance in their personal and professional lives. In this blog post, we will explore the common fear of public speaking and discuss how Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can offer hope and support in overcoming this anxiety. Let’s delve into the world of public speaking anxiety and discover how EMDR can help you reclaim your confidence and thrive as a speaker.

Understanding Public Speaking Anxiety

Public speaking anxiety, also known as glossophobia, is a common fear that affects individuals from all walks of life. It can arise from various factors, such as the fear of judgement, the pressure to perform, or past negative experiences associated with public speaking. The symptoms of glossophobia can vary from person to person, but often include:

  1. Intense fear and panic when facing a speaking engagement, leading to a sense of overwhelming distress.
  2. Physical manifestations such as a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, and a dry mouth, which can significantly hinder one’s ability to speak comfortably.
  3. Negative self-talk and self-doubt, with thoughts of being judged, making mistakes, or being embarrassed in front of others.
  4. Avoidance of public speaking opportunities altogether, as individuals may go to great lengths to escape or minimise their exposure to such situations.

Glossophobia can have a profound impact on personal and professional growth. It can hinder career advancement, limit networking opportunities, and diminish one’s overall self-confidence. Recognising and addressing this fear is crucial for individuals who aspire to become effective communicators and overcome the limitations that glossophobia imposes.

EMDR Therapy: A Path to Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a scientifically validated psychotherapy approach that has shown great promise in treating various forms of anxiety, including public speaking anxiety. EMDR therapy focuses on processing and resolving the underlying traumatic experiences or negative beliefs that contribute to anxiety symptoms.

During EMDR sessions, a trained therapist guides individuals through a structured process that involves recalling distressing memories or beliefs while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, hand tapping, or auditory tones. This bilateral stimulation helps stimulate the brain’s natural information processing mechanisms, allowing for the reprocessing and integration of traumatic or distressing experiences.

By using EMDR therapy for public speaking anxiety, individuals can:

  1. Identify and address the root causes of their fear and anxiety surrounding public speaking.
  2. Challenge and reframe negative beliefs and self-talk that contribute to anxiety.
  3. Process past traumatic experiences or negative associations related to public speaking.
  4. Cultivate new coping strategies and build resilience when facing public speaking situations.

EMDR therapy offers a safe and supportive environment for individuals to explore their fears, process underlying emotions, and gradually desensitise themselves to the anxiety-inducing aspects of public speaking.


Public speaking anxiety can hold individuals back from reaching their full potential, both personally and professionally. However, with the right support and interventions, such as EMDR therapy, it is possible to overcome this fear and reclaim your confidence as a speaker.

If you find yourself avoiding public speaking or experiencing overwhelming anxiety when faced with speaking engagements, consider reaching out to our experienced EMDR therapists. We are here to provide you with the support, guidance, and effective strategies you need to reclaim your confidence and excel in public speaking. Together, we can work towards transforming your anxiety into empowerment and helping you thrive as a speaker.

Take the first step towards overcoming public speaking anxiety and unlocking your true potential. Contact us today to embark on a transformative journey towards reclaiming your confidence and speaking with ease and conviction.

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