Andy McCann is a Professor of Psychology. He is also a Performance Coach who works with performers as well as professionals in sports, business and politics, using applied performance psychology and evidence based resilience focused strategies. He is a Professor of Psychology within the Faculty of Health, Psychology & Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University and has expertise in helping performance professionals manage conditions including performance-related anxiety, perfectionism, stress, sleep disturbance and bruxism. He advises clients about media and social media, resilience, leadership and working with others, managing change and new challenges, roles and environments, work-life balance and clarifying personal values.
Dr Anna Waters is a performance and sport psychologist who is experienced at coaching performing artists, teachers, coaches and medical support teams on an individual basis and in group sessions. Anna can help with all aspects of performance psychology, in particular: stage fright, anxiety, managing nerves, dealing with and recovering from the psychological effects of injury, preparing for auditions, managing setbacks and rejection, dealing with pressure from social media, time management, building resilience, and improving mental preparation for performance.
Having a brother who is a theatre producer and having played violin and acted for many years growing up, has given me insight into the dynamics and intricacies of the world of performing arts. Over the past 20 years, I have worked with numerous performers including classical musicians, opera singers, ballerinas, stand-up comedians, actors and singers. I can offer insight and help you to develop skills, tools and techniques, which you can individualise and apply to your performance.
Dr Raluca Matei trained as a professional classical violinist before focusing on psychology and specialising in musicians’ health and wellbeing from an interdisciplinary, real-world perspective. She is a performance coach with a special interest in the psychology of performance, who works with clients to solve problems relating to, for example, lifestyle and behaviour change, stage fright/performance anxiety, resilience and wellbeing, building and managing healthy relationships, practice strategies, work routines, time management, setting objectives and planning, exploring one’s values and priorities in one’s artistic career and personal life, music education and teaching strategies.
Raluca's approach is flexibly tailored to individual needs, and eclectic, drawing ideas and principles from several disciplines including psychology, philosophy, and health. “Active listening and building a relationship are at the core of practice”.
Geoff Baxter is a psychotherapist and performance coach.
"I am a BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (CBT) with over 15 years experience. I see clients in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and Marylebone, Central London and also provide supervision in CBT and REBT.
After initial training as a musician in Northern Ireland I moved to London to pursue a career as a professional trombonist. It was during this time that I first became interested in therapy, initially in relation to performance. After completing a Masters degree in psychology for musicians I decided to pursue therapy as a career and then went about acquiring the training and knowledge necessary.
I have worked as a CBT Therapist at the Priory Hospital and a performance therapist at Trinity College of Music. In addition to my clinical work I have also taught and supervised students on the Rational Emotive & Cognitive- Behaviour Therapy Masters Degree course at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. I currently work in private practice."
Helen Brice is an experienced psychotherapist, counsellor and skills coach who worked for 17 years in the commercial music industry as a performer, music producer & manager before going on to set up a psychotherapeutic service for performers, Stimmung Therapy. Where appropriate, clients can access the Stimmung Therapy Programme, delivered together with Miranda Jackson, who is also a BAPAM Registered therapist. Initial assessment is followed by a combination of trauma/existential/autogenic work, and skills coaching and behaviour therapy for breaking old habits and creating new ones. Helen also offers Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO DBT)-informed sessions for maladaptive perfectionism and procrastination.
Lee Holland is a Performance Coach, holding an MSc in Performance Psychology from Edinburgh University. Lee also has a Masters in Performance (Distinction) from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Post-Graduate Professional Coaching Certificate and an Executive Coaching qualification accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) through Full Circle Global, Edinburgh.
Lee is qualified to teach both Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Living course (MBLC) curriculums. Her teaching certificates are from the Centre of Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor and the Mindfulness Association, Scotland. Lee lectures at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on two degree accredited modules ‘Mindfulness for Well-Being and Performance’, and ‘Mental Skills Training for the Performer’.
Lee is experienced in working with classical orchestral musicians. She can help with issues relating to performance anxiety, coping with pressure, lack of confidence, focus and distraction issues, planning and organisational challenges, motivation, leadership and public speaking, and practice management and planning.
Mel Toy is a Performance Coach, songwriter, vocalist, and researcher, holding a BA Hons in Creative Musicianship and an MSc Psychology. She provides a tailored service which helps clients understand their experiences (emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioural) and perform with greater confidence, self-esteem, and enjoyment. Coaching sessions aim to limit the psychological inhibitions that may stem from conditions such as Performance Anxiety (stage fright/nerves) or from strategies adopted during the development and treatment of vocal injuries. Mel has supported established performance professionals and emerging artists across a variety of styles and artistic medium. Mel is also a vocal coach and singing teacher and has a special interest in working with singers and professional voice users, particularly with contemporary and musical theatre vocalists. She can help with issues relating to a lack of confidence in performing, career and artist development, artist identity exploration, performance anxiety, vocal technique concerns, and creative blocks (e.g., songwriting concerns).
Mel is currently undertaking doctoral research through the Department of Culture, Communication, and Media with University College London’s Institute of Education, investigating the ongoing implications of music performance anxiety on the wellbeing of contemporary singers.
Andy Evans is a specialist in performance psychology, coaching and careers work, with over thirty years experience working with performers, particularly musicians. He was a Performance Psychologist at BIMM International Popular Music Academy, and Career Coach to Dancers Career Development for 15 years. Andy has published extensively on performance psychology, his latest book being 'Secrets of Performing Confidence' (2013, Bloomsbury). All the typical issues of performers are covered in sessions - creativity, career enhancement, managing performance anxiety, peak performance, auditioning, practice and rehearsal strategies, motivation, stress, burnout, confidence, perfectionism.
Phil Johnson is a Sport & Performance Psychologist and coach with extensive experience helping creative practitioners with problems including depression, anxiety, performance trauma, addiction, eating disorders, burnout, injury, self-harm, bullying, PTSD, relationship breakdown. Phil practises in Bristol and also provides online sessions. He uses techniques including brainspotting to help people overcome trauma.
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: www.bapam.org.uk/arts-health-practitioners-in-focus-arts-specialist-psychologists-and-psychotherapists/, 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 https://www.bapam.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/SEA-BAPAM-Hermeneutic-Circular-April-2020.pdf. Collaborates with musicians: Challengingperformance.com, dancers: Dance and Choreomania, and other artists and scientists: https://www.artichoke.uk.com/cosmoscope-research-colloquium/.
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.
Sophie Bruce is a person-centred Sport Psychologist who applies psychological techniques and experience to coaching performers and those working in the performing arts. Her approach draws from the frameworks of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and focuses on optimising performance through using a very tailored and customised approach with the individual performer or in a team context. Some specific areas which Sophie may work with you on include: managing and overcoming performance anxiety and stress, goal setting, helping build skills for performing under pressure, improving motivation, confidence and communication.