Actors, dancers, musicians and vocal artists live, breath, absorb and perform their music dance and drama. Their love of their art form and of performance has imprinted a personal and professional lifestyle and psychology that defines and who they are, what they do and how they perform.

Elma Linz Kanefield, LCSW, CPC, PLLC, Performing Arts psychotherapist, Performance Potential coach and Founding Director of The Juilliard School’s Counseling Services, has been voicing the special, personal and professional needs, problems, challenges and possibilities that confront performing artists from all ages and stages of their lives and their careers.

For the past three decades Ms. Kanefield has specialized in the psychology of the performing artist working exclusively with performers helping them to find their greatness on stage and off.

Performers come to therapy or coaching to:

  • Feel better about themselves both personally and professionally
  • Strengthen relationships with colleagues, families and friends
  • Manage time, financial, employment, geographic, and physical complexities and transitions
  • Gain clarity about what is affecting their performance passion, spirit and energy
  • Move them forward in ways that have them loving in their chosen profession and living their performance potential

Through Performing Arts Therapy, Ms. Kanefield helps performers find their gifts by understanding why they are the way they are and why their life is the way it is. Through Performance Potential Coaching, she integrates her clinical background with her coaching abilities and focuses more on where do performers want to go and how they move forward in that direction to live their unique performance potential on stage and off.

Ms. Kanefield believes that she has the best “job’ in the world because she is fortunate to engage with people whose life-defining work, in Hamlet’s words, “holds a mirror up to life.”

Ms. Kanefield’s office is located on the upper westside of Manhattan in the heart of Lincoln Center. Her space is designed for performing artists: the books on the shelves are written by or about them, the art on her walls are Hirschfelds, and most particularly, in her office alcove, is a small stage with a piano.

Her office invites performers to not only talk about their experiences, but to enact, in their own art forms, their personal and professional problems and challenges, using the stage to find transformational insights and solutions.




“I am frequently filled with wonder and awe when witnessing the profound transformations in the performers with whom I work. So many of these artists have become authentic and fearless, creatively conscious, powerful and productive people and performers. They are fully engaged in their lives and able to motivate and inspire themselves and others while experiencing joy and performance success.”

Elma Linz Kanefield