Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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Performance anxiety theory and treatment: one size does not fit all

Julie Jaffee Nagel
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 19 Number 1: Page 39 (March 2004)

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Abstract: Performance anxiety is a complex issue that can affect a musician's competence and self-esteem on and off stage. Performance anxiety consists of emotional and physical components, and its understanding theoretically and clinically can present challenges to clinicians and musicians. Although the psychological literature often focuses on cognitive, measurable, symptomatic, and conscious aspects of stage fright, there are other ways to understand this seemingly mysterious and painful problem. This article presents a psychodynamic approach to the theoretical understanding and treatment of stage fright and suggests that any "either/or" model be rejected in favor of an "also/and" paradigm.

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