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What Can Help a Musician with Performance Anxiety?

02 Nov

A psychologist asks for help in choosing a program from among our selection of audios that target performance anxiety, to augment his work with a musician who suffers from near-paralyzing fear. . .

 Belleruth,

I appreciate your guided imagery, and frequently suggest Health Journeys audios to my patients.  Which performance meditation would you recommend for a gifted musician who is terrified of playing in public?  

Thank you.  
Dr. Paul Dawson


Dear Dr. Dawson,

We have several titles for performance anxiety that I could suggest for your musician.  Maybe if I spell out some of the differences between them, it will make your choice easier.

If you want to stay with my guided imagery, which emphasizes multi-sensory, emotionally evocative, psychologically-oriented guided imagery, then the Self-Confidence & Peak Performance audio combined with Anxiety & Panic would be a good combo for him.  The Anxiety & Panic audio focuses on mastering the fear and anxiety; the Self-Confidence imagery works on envisioning the look, feel and joy of merging with the music and losing all self-consciousness... basically engendering a "Flow" state from within.

If you think he'd prefer a strong man's voice and a more structured, directive, hypnotic approach, then psychiatrist and guided imagery innovator Emmett Miller is as good as it gets, and his Optimal Performance recording would work really well for him.  Emmett is a master of the form.

If you want him to focus on his inner self-doubt with a gentle, supportive combination of imagery, self-hypnosis and affirmations designed to increase feelings of self-esteem and self-worth, then he should try Traci Stein's Healthy Self-Esteem and to sneak around his resistance, he can continue his healing while he’s snoozing with Traci’s  accompanying, equally popular Self-Esteem during Sleep.

David Illig's Self-Esteem audio uses classic, Ericksonian hypnosis – an indirect form of suggestion that also sneaks up on the listener in brilliant ways, and his gentle, hypnotically sing-song voice is very effective - that might appeal to him if he responds best to subtlety, nuance and paradox.   

You might want to show him the product pages with the sound samples, so he can get a feel for the differences and judge for himself.  

I hope this helps.  

All best,

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Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award