Performance anxiety, or “stage fright,” can create fear in many people and in many situations, such as public speaking, social communication, public appearance, athletics, intimacy, and artistic performance. For example, symptoms such as shakiness, trembling, sweatiness, dry mouth and distraction can interfere with thinking and behavior, propelling musicians to lose focus on technical performance and begin to panic about their ability to continue. While some performance anxiety puts us in a fight or flight mode, it can also put us in a “freeze” mode.
Performance anxiety can be eased if the therapist has an understanding of what the symptoms are and how they were “installed.” This relates to family of origin issues, our social culture, knowledge of our “mind state” (which includes physiology, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and emotions), and helping separate performance and identity.
As a performance pianist, Dr. Humphrey is particularly adept in assisting individuals in overcoming performance anxiety.
Read more about overcoming performance anxiety in this article, “Tips for Overcoming Performance Anxiety.”