Ms Monia Brizzi

Services, therapies, and modalities
Music / arts / performance health, CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Existential Analysis, Integrative Therapy, Performance Psychology, Person Centered Therapy, Singers and professional voice users, Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
Regions Covered
London, East London
BAPAM London, Holborn / Canary Wharf
BA Psych Hons (University of Bologna, York University, Toronto, Canada) MSc (London Metropolitan University) Post-MA (Regent’s University London) CPsychol AFBPsS HCPC MBACP EuroPsy
Information (Note: telephone numbers are available via BAPAM helpline)

Monia Brizzi is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Registered Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council. She consults in Canary Wharf and as an assessing clinician at BAPAM London.

She has worked with BAPAM for 13 years providing psychological assessment and treatment to professional performers and those in training, including orchestral soloists and players, conductors, composers, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, circus artists, stage managers and other performing arts practitioners.

Monia has a special interest in performance psychology and the psychological dimensions of physical and chronic conditions (somatic symptoms, illness, pain, fatigue, voice problems, tinnitus, musculoskeletal issues, hypo and hyper mobility, functional disabilities, injuries). She also consults on performance anxiety, panic attacks, low mood, perfectionism, impostor syndrome, self-esteem, shame, addictions, dissociation, complex trauma, and career transitions.

She has been interviewed by BAPAM:, Classical Music magazine: Health and Wellbeing: Performance Anxiety and Healthy Conservatories Network.

Monia has worked on Wellcome Trust supported art-science projects at University College London Hospital. Facilitated art and psychology symposia with the Society for Existential Analysis and Professor of Art David Cotterrell for the national festival Creativity and Wellbeing Week. Convened Performing Arts Healthcare Conference with Professor of Music Daniel Leech-Wilkinson and BAPAM Senior Manager for Special Projects Dan Hayhurst at King’s College London: Phenomenology and the Arts and Collaborates with musicians:, dancers: Dance and Choreomania, and other artists and scientists:

She has published and presented her research at national and international conferences for over 17 years, including the 2022 annual conference of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare - Enhancing Wellness and Resilience in Performing Arts - with a collaborative article with Dr Anthony Ordman on ‘Understanding subconscious influences in complex mind-body presentations as the key to alleviating career-threatening symptomatologies’.

Recent publications in performing arts medicine include The Psychologist (British Psychological Society), Existential Analysis (Society for Existential Analysis), and Therapy Today (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy).

‘I have worked alongside Monia Brizzi, the psychologist and psychotherapist, for quite some time now, having met her when we gave lectures and webinars together for The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). I am always deeply impressed by Monia’s depth of understanding of the human mind when health is a challenge. And in clinical practice, Monia Brizzi is one of the most talented and insightful psychologists with whom I have had the pleasure to work. I often refer patients to her whose complex physical pain presentations may be compounded by deep, often unconscious psychological responses to their pain. By gently and tactfully exploring these inner thoughts with kindness and patience, Monia can often bring considerable and lasting relief to patients, who feel deeply understood and helped in this way. Monia combines compassion and understanding with an expert theoretical basis for her work, and I can thoroughly recommend her as an expert and trusted colleague with whom it is often very illuminating to one’s own practice to discuss cases with her.’ Dr Anthony Ordman, Consultant in Pain Medicine

A dialogue between Professor Mine Doğantan-Dack and Monia Brizzi: Pedagogical and clinical perspectives on musicians’ health - Music and Mental Health Group, a study group of the Royal Music Association

In December 2023, Monia and colleagues presented at the Music, body, and embodiment: new approaches in musicology conference:

Monia Brizzi (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) – Prof. John Crawford (Trinity Laban Conservatoire) – Dr. Maiko Kawabata (Open University / Royal College of Music), Musical Expression from the Whole Self: The Need for Body-Mind Integration in Performing Arts Education and Medicine 

This paper, an interdisciplinary collaboration between a psychologist, a music conservatoire pedagogue, and a musicologist, explores the ideal for musicians to develop mind, body and emotions holistically towards the goal of giving authentic self-expression to the performance of Western classical music. Yet all too often, mental, physical and emotional functions are disconnected or even conflicted — a situation we collectively recognise and seek to ameliorate in our students and clients, with each author drawing on individual expertise. Why does this happen and what would it take to achieve an integrated approach? Crawford’s pedagogical outlook, drawing on his own lived experience as a professional violinist, places a strong emphasis on mind-body integration approaches, especially the Alexander Technique. Along with the optimal functioning of the body and correct body conception, an indispensable element is the desire of the musician to actually express something, yet too often the weakness or even absence of this desire is overlooked or ignored. Kawabata identifies the need for a joint-up approach having noticed that music pedagogy and related disciplines are not in dialogue, e.g. there are clear overlaps between the ‘body map’ in Alexander Technique whereby anatomical understanding informs intelligent movements and ‘body schemata’ in phenomenology whereby the violin and bow become part of the violinist’s body. Such theoretical connections have implications on a practical level, as revealed during a conservatoire workshop co-run by Kawabata and Crawford. Brizzi observes the deep-rooted yet limiting assumption in the performing arts that reduces the body and the self to separate objects and identifies tools and technique as agents; she points out that disturbance is often an attempt to break out of this rigidity and the benefits of an integrated approach for the whole self. She highlights the implications for performers’ health and wellbeing from a clinical perspective.