The kind of work that I do in my office is specifically designed for the performing artists with whom I work.
Over the years, I developed a way of working with them that I call Psychological Coaching. Psychological Coaching combines traditional psychotherapies with a life coaching philosophy. I practice one or the other or both as needed as I listen to these artists.
Psychological Coaching is about thinking, feeling, and behaving. Coaching is a synergistic extension of psychotherapy as performers connect their intangible insights, passions and vision to tangible goals and actions to create personal and professional performance success in the physical world.
With traditional psychological modalities, I focus on healing, the past, the performer’s inner world, and on reflection and contemplation. With coaching, I focus on empowerment, the here and now, both the external as well as internal worlds of the performing artist, and on accountability and action.
My methods of questioning also differ. With traditional psychological investigation, where the left brain is more mobilized, I use the forms of speech why and how. With coaching, the right brain is more mobilized with inquiries of who, what, when and where. The former is more analytic, the latter more creative.
Psychological Coaching involves knowledge of both the performer’s psyche as well as the performer’s culture. Awareness of their culture has greatly informed me about their ways of being and behaving and connects me with the performers with whom I work. I believe that I have an ethical responsibility to understand the performer’s culture, their business, their profession, and their art forms as a way to fully understand them.
Being informed and understanding, for example, that:
…their business is self-serving, addictive and unstable
…their public is fickle and relishes a good fall from grace
…the box office holds more import than the quality of their character
…their friends are their competition
…showmances may be as normal as family life
…their AGE and their BODY feel like the enemy
…”you’re only as good as your last performance”
…too loud, not enough, too old, went another way, already cast, and “NO” are the most frequently heard words
…and… the most beloved industry fable is The Myth of the Suffering Artist
is as important to me as knowing the oft-times traumatic and troublesome histories that intrude into their personal and professional lives.
This knowledge and understanding has become an integral part of Psychological Coaching, and Psychological Coaching is an integral part of my professional voice.
My office was designed to accommodate performing artists. In addition to a couch and chairs, there is a small stage upon which is a piano and a ballet barre.
A unique dimension of Psychological Coaching is the use of the stage. Performing artists re-enact on the stage their personal and professional obstacles and challenges, in their own art form, to find transformational insights, perceptions, solutions and opportunities.