Public Speaking Anxiety
& Social Anxiety Courses

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Dr. Cheryl Mathews, Coach
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Dr. Cheryl Mathews, Your Guide

Desensitization Laboratory (LAB)

this is where things start to change

here's how it works

what is the LAB?

The LAB is where you take action. I'll guide you every step of the way.

practice anxiety management techniques

Practice anxiety management techniques in a safe and supportive group. Learn with others who share your fear. Take gradual steps that are manageable for you.

monitor your improvement

Throughout the LAB, we'll track your fear level to make sure you're improving.

get personal guidance
and help

I'll help you desensitize successfully and ensure you're using the techniques the right way. 

Goal: Desensitize your nervous system and reduce your fear.

Click to see full course description

This is what you will learn in the Desensitization Lab:

  • šYou’ll learn through personal experience that your anxiety increases and decreases in a predictable fashion.
  • šYou’ll see for yourself that when you’re in speaking situations long enough your anxiety will dissipate naturally (on it’s own with no effort).
  • šYou’ll find that anxiety goes down with repeated practice (as long as you’re practicing correctly).
  • šYou’re going to have a chance to learn how to coach yourself more accurately before, during and after a speaking situation.
  • šWe’ll dig into the self-defeating patterns that maintain your fear: Thinking social standards are more exacting than they really are, focusing on errors, severe self-evaluations, and avoidance habits.
  • šYou’ll learn that things really can be different.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to learn and desensitize with like-minded people who share your fear of public speaking.

The Desensitization Lab is a synchronous class using web conferencing (Zoom). Each session lasts 2 hours and we typically meet 2-hours each Saturday and 2-hours each Sunday for 4 consecutive weekends. The exact dates and times are scheduled once enough people sign-up and a class officially forms. Each class typically is made up of 5-6 people. In the class, we talk about how anxiety has affected our lives, learn anxiety management techniques, and practice anxiety management techniques while speaking in front of the other LAB participants. The LAB includes 16-hours of face-to-face class on Zoom, a self-paced online course that provides the framework for the LAB, tons of additional information (including a comprehensive Participant Guide), successful exposure, opportunity to ask questions, and personalized help and coaching. The class fee can be paid online once the class is officially scheduled and before the class starts. 

The LAB is transformative and life-changing, and can help you advance your career, your relationships and your self-esteem. Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.


next LAB sessions

{ includes 16-hour LAB + self-paced online course }

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Did you already take the course? Click here to buy just the LAB ($800) 

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Desensitization LAB
Average rating:  
 8 reviews
by Ken on Desensitization LAB

This course has helped me realise the fact that speaking anxiety may still continue to appear from time to time. It is more important to learn to accept and manage the fears, and become more confident that I can still function well even with a certain level of anxiety symptoms. I've also convinced myself that others may not notice that I am as nervous as I think. Don't forget to appreciate all the great efforts and celebrate successful experiences. Think positive - I know that's not easy, but I can do it!

by Ron on Desensitization LAB

This lab has been extremely helpful. For so long I had been dealing with social anxiety and public speaking fear alone, but to have a group of supportive individuals going through the same struggle made things a lot easier. Dr. Mathews is great and presents information in a simple manner so you can easily grasp concepts.

If anyone is dealing with this type of anxiety, I would definitely recommend signing up for this lab. Personally, my self worth has improved and I’m seeing progress in reduced levels of nervousness. I think there’s still a long road ahead for me but I’m better off than I was before taking the lab, and that is invaluable.

by Phil on Desensitization LAB

I saw my anxiety go down as I repeatedly practiced. I came to feel that I could control the anxiety. The LAB was a safe environment to practice. My expectations changed from “I can’t do this” to “I can do this.” If I fear something and don’t want to do it, I now push myself out of my comfort zone a bit. I’ve decided to try to face the fear and not avoid it using gradual exposures.

by Brown on Desensitization LAB

The LAB was a wonderful experience! I was able to finally learn valuable techniques to help me better manage anxiety in a very safe environment.
I met others with the same challenges in the LAB and that made it a lot easier for me to relax and realize that we were all on the same journey and were there to help each other. Dr Cheryl was also very helpful in patiently guiding us through our sessions and helping us create new thought patterns. Also, I learned a lot from the feedback from others in the group. The feedback was so helpful.
After the first two sessions, I began to see my anxiety coming down through lots of practice opportunities I got in the lab. In one lab session, I gave a 5-minute talk and I was so happy because I knew I could do it.
Toastmasters is great but it was too overwhelming for me. The LAB however gave me a way to work on my anxiety gradually in a very manageable way. After the LAB, I am now confident that I have the tools to join a toastmasters group online to increase my practice opportunities.
Overall, the LAB was an awesome experience and I would encourage anyone who may be struggling with speaking anxiety of any sort to take part in it.

by Ryan on Desensitization LAB

This was an amazing course. I strongly recommend it for anyone who is serious about overcoming public speaking anxiety. Dr. Mathews walks you through a deep understanding of what causes public speaking anxiety, teaches you tools to overcome this anxiety, and so much more. I now have a plan in place that I feel confident will get me to where I need to be and most importantly I know that I’m not alone. I look forward to continuing to develop myself and sincerely appreciate Dr. Mathews’ kindhearted and no-nonsense approach.

by James on Desensitization LAB

I finally decided one day that I was tired of constantly trying to avoid giving presentations at work and getting stressed out when I was inevitably asked to present. I wanted to understand the psychology behind public speaking anxiety, and somehow I stumbled upon a reddit AMA that Dr.Mathews did several years ago. I learned so much from her answers in that post, and from there I found the desensitization lab.

I was seeing a therapist for public speaking anxiety before the lab started. Therapy was very useful, however, a critical part of that therapy is exposure: doing the thing you’re afraid of--public speaking. I actually tried a few different ways to get exposures: I joined toastmasters, and I took a four week improv course. Those certainly helped, but the lab was by far the most effective for me.

One of my favorite parts of the lab is that because it was a small group, there were many opportunities to speak and practice. Dr.Mathews helped us to tailor our exposures to our personal fears without overwhelming ourselves. Because all of the participants were all in a similar boat wrt speaking anxiety, it felt very safe to open up and give each other honest feedback. I was quite surprised that I learned a lot about anxiety from watching others in the class go through their journeys. I found it quite valuable to see what speaking anxiety looks like in someone other than myself, because I personally tend to be less objective with myself.

I would absolutely recommend the lab to anyone who is looking to work on their speaking anxiety.

by CeciliaA on Desensitization LAB

The Lab was an invaluable experience for me. It was something I had been looking for over the past year. I am glad I found Dr. Mathews and was able to attend her Lab. She is very committed to the participants and their concerns, and provides very useful guidance. During the Lab I was able to practice impromptu speaking, and to learn how to organize my thoughts, and how to control my levels of anxiety when speaking. Also, I received valuable feedback not only from her but from other participants, and this has helped me to increase my self confidence, and to develop more positive thoughts about self. I recommend this Lab very highly as it offers ways to become calmer when speaking before other people, and to enjoy sharing with others without having fear or a feeling of panic.

by Chaz on Desensitization LAB

The desensitization labs have shifted my perspective and improved my confidence. I now look at myself, my thoughts, and my symptoms more objectively than before, and have a much clearer path forward. My confidence has increased, both from the lab exercises as well as from hearing the thoughts and feedback that others shared. The tools that I picked up during the sessions are things I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I highly recommend this course to anyone dealing with low confidence, panic, or anxiety as it relates to public speaking or performance.


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Contact Cheryl with questions