Acceptance and commitment therapy for public speaking anxiety: A self-help format
Beharry, P. (2008). Acceptance and commitment therapy for public speaking anxiety: A self-help format (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2442
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2442
A non-concurrent multiple baseline design across eight participants was used to determine whether working through Hayes and Smith's (2005) book would help those with public speaking anxiety. Hayes and Smith (2005) is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It encourages people to accept internal experiences as opposed to avoiding and struggling with them. For the purposes of this study, the book was divided into nine components, which participants discussed with the researcher. They also completed measures daily, during baseline and over the intervention period, as well as a battery of tests pre-baseline, mid and post intervention. The multiple baseline data showed that self-reported willingness to approach public speaking situations increased while self-reported avoidance decreased over the intervention. The pre and post measures also showed avoidance of internal experiences decreased significantly after the intervention. These outcomes are in line with changes suggested to result from engaging in such a therapy. The pre and post results also showed that quality of life increased significantly from mid to post-intervention. However, engagement with values did not change. While this measure is expected to change after such an intervention, this result may have occurred because the ideas about values were introduced last in the book. The intervention also led to significant decreases in anxiety, significant changes in thoughts about public speaking and significant increases in anxiety control as shown by the test battery. These findings are positive but are not predicted by processes posited for this therapy. However, there was no control group so these pre vs post comparisons must be interpreted with caution. Despite this limitation, the results suggest that the book, together with therapist contact, can help those with public speaking anxiety.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses