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Overcoming Stage Fright In Everyday Life Hardcover – May 7, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1st edition (May 7, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051770465X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517704653
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,995,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

T his book is for all people who dread speaking in public--the lawyer too anxiety-ridden to plead his case, the young professional afraid to present her project, the salesperson who has to take a drink before making a sales pitch. It is about performance anxiety, which affects millions of people in business, professional, and personal situations. Because of their overwhelming fear at even the prospect of being the center of attention, these people are forced into choices that seriously limit their social lives, careers, and the development of their talents.

As an outgrowth of her earlier training as an actress and her own struggle with this problem, Jungian analyst Joyce Ashley has developed a method for identifying the roots of performance anxiety and the psychological factors that continue to fuel it. Using a combination of acting and psychoanalytic techniques, she teaches people to do battle with their inner saboteurs.

In Part I, Ashley takes us step-by-step through the experiences of two participants in her eight-week workshop. Using actual dialogues, we follow each one's encounters with inner adversaries and witness their newly gained insights and growing freedom from fear.

In Part II, Ashley adapts her highly successful workshop program for the reader. She explains in detail how to do her exercises, and supports each reader's individual journey toward confrontation with self-sabotage.
Unlike other books that give advice on how to deal with performance anxiety, Ashley's is the first to offer a reliable, easily learned technique that empowers readers to overcome their fear.

About the Author

Joyce Ashley is a Jungian analyst who specializes in performance anxiety. In addition to her analytic practice, she conducts workshops on Overcoming Stage Fright in Everyday Life at the New York Open Center and in Jungian centers across the country.  

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have had a SEVERE fear of public speaking for most of my life (started in teens, persisted into 40's). When I say, "severe," I mean a kind of panic where the possibility of having to speak to people would cause me to bolt out of the room (I'd make an excuse afterwards). Actually, I dreaded any kind of public attention at all (e.g., walking up the podium to accept a diploma). Well, things kind of came to a head this past year with my career (mid-level executive at Fortune 500 company). Somehow, I've avoided having to speak much on my way up (I'm a CPA and have gotten by with technical skills)--but became aware that my extraordinary fear was completely preventing me from rising any higher in my organization.
So, I tried every "cure" available (rational emotive therapy; flooding; Callahan techniques and EFT; EMDR; in vivo sensitizaton; etc.). Nothing worked---until I bought this book and did the therapy contained therein.
Make no mistake about it: it's hard work. As a matter of fact, I had to work through all the exercises twice until I found my "cure." It's emotional, draining, difficult work, but effective, effective, effective. Yet, the exercises are life altering. They are unlike typical therapy. They tap into a deep part of you that terrorizes you and sustains the fear and panic. Doing the exercises neutralizes the fear. The release is cathartic and palpable.
The proof? I did my second go-around with the exercises during the past month and successfully completed a solo two hour presentation (with Q&A) to twenty top executives at the Marriott today. I handled the presentation like a seasoned pro. A miracle? Yes. Why?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although I came to this book with the hope of overcoming my anxiety while performing piano recitals, I benefitted beyond my expectation. I am a new student to piano but in my 40s, so the prospect of sounding like the student I am, was frightening. As I read the book, I became more and more aware that my anxiety was much less than the type of stage fright addressed by the author; a very useful insight, indeed. As I proceeded through the rest of the book I had an epiphany not related to stage fright, yet extremely useful. Therefore, I recommend reading this book, even for mild anxiety, since Ms. Ashley's method may lead to deeper and more important issues.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Overcoming Stage Fright in Everday Life is an outstanding book. It helped me overcome many of my fears when standing up to speak in class. It has also anabled me to be confident abuot myself in many circumstances. This book has helped me in clear and concrete ways. It should deifnitely be read by anyone who has stage fright, whether minor or more serious.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Combines anecdotes, clinical experiences, and the story of a psychotherapist who overcame her own anxiety and went on to a long career in treating anxiety disorders in people from all walks of life. Looks briefly into the childhood origins of social phobias. Definitely intended for people who have the problem, rather than a reference or introduction for outsiders. Probably worth a look if your concern goes beyond simple stage fright and approaches a social phobia that is interfering with your full enjoyment of life.
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