Performance anxiety is also called “stage fright.” Performance anxiety is the fear of doing something in front of an audience. It is often a symptom of social anxiety disorder. People with social anxiety disorder have an intense fear of becoming extremely anxious and being judged, embarrassed or humiliated across a variety of social and performance situations that may include:
However, some people do not fear and avoid social interactions, but do fear and avoid specific situations in which they are performing for an audience, such as public speaking, performing music, or dancing. The dread of performance situations can start days, weeks, or months in advance. Prior to performing people can experience nausea and “freezing.” As a result, people avoid performance situations and feel bad about it. In addition, performance anxiety can interfere with success at work and relationships.
Some people with social anxiety have specific fears, usually about public speaking or other kinds of performance such as music or dance. Other people experience a more generalized fear across a number of social and performance situations.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for performance anxiety. Because performance anxiety is often a symptom of social anxiety disorder, which can be a serious problem, the first step towards effective treatment is a proper and thorough differential diagnostic assessment by a psychiatrist or psychologist.
CBT Associates is a large, well-established and rapidly-growing network of clinics that provides evidence-based psychological services to children, adolescents, adults of all ages, and couples.
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The first important difference between psychotherapists and psychologists is the number of years of education and training required to register by each college. The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires members to complete any recognized training program in psychotherapy, with 450 hours of direct client contact, and 100 hours of clinical supervision. In contrast, to... Read More