Performance Psychology in Action: A Casebook for Working with Athletes, Performing Artists, Business Leaders, and Professionals in High-Risk Occupations

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Expert athletes understand the mind body connection. For years, they have learned mental skills from coaches, consultants, and other practitioners in order to optimize physical performance. Now, these same mental skills are being taught to a broad range of performers, such as dancers, actors, lawyers, surgeons, business leaders, and rescue workers. The resulting new field of performance psychology allows performers from a variety of fields to "get their head out of the way so that their body can do what it's trained to do." In detail, this book shows the everyday practice of performance psychology. Case by case, the stories demonstrate how consultants have helped performers develop confidence, overcome mental blocks, manage emotions, and use preparation techniques such as imagery and positive self-talk in order to achieve the best possible mental state for performance. The chapters blend theory and practice by integrating literature reviews with real-world applications, and they cover a wide range of performers, including athletes, performing artists, business leaders, and professionals in high-risk occupations. Extensive session transcripts are provided, including the consultants' thoughts and reactions throughout the session. Engaging, nuanced, personal, and highly accessible, this book will help practitioners and students from a variety of fields explore performance psychology in action.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Michael S. Goldsby, PhD, CCRP (Family Psychiatry of The Woodlands)
Description: Editor Kate F. Hays has done a magnificent job of introducing readers to the emerging field of performance psychology with a wide-ranging blend of theory and actual case histories. She draws on the collective wisdom and insight of experts in the field, researchers and practitioners alike, to dissect performance as well as all the systemic factors associated with high-pressure performance. Hays and her colleagues offer practical ways that consultants can help ballerinas, rock stars, athletes, and CEOs to perform at optimal levels.
Purpose: The purpose is to assist those interested in learning more about the field of performance psychology as well as to offer an explanation of what expert performance psychologists actually do when they work with performers. An additional purpose may be to advance the collective knowledge base in this emergent field and provide a comprehensive reference for aspiring performance psychologists.
Audience: This book will be most useful to established performance psychologists and counseling professionals who are attracted to this new and exciting field. Individuals in high profile performance occupations such as politicians, top athletes, performing musicians, professional dancers, and business leaders would gain valuable insight from the detailed case histories and proven performance methods.
Features: Contributing authors put forward a variety of applications for performance psychology that are research based and backed by findings in the professional literature, resulting in meaningful application in the clinical setting. Chapters include carefully selected case histories that elucidate these various theoretical approaches. Each chapter is devoted to one of many pertinent subjects, such as adolescent performers and the family system, confidence building and mental preparation, as well as specific treatments for audition and performance anxiety.
Assessment: The book captures the diversity as well as the commonality of therapeutic approaches to performance psychology. Nowhere else is there such a collection of real-life applications of performance psychology science and theory expressed through the case histories of luminary clinical experts. This book is a truly welcome addition that without doubt will advance the field while establishing itself as the go-to reference for all practitioners and students who want to learn more about the exciting and challenging field of performance psychology.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433804434
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 337
  • Sales rank: 1,250,526
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Contributors vii

Foreword Raymond D. Fowler ix

Preface xi

Introduction 3

I Mental Attributes For Peak Performance

1 The "Canon" of Psychological Skills Training for Enhancing Performance Mark B. Andersen 11

2 Emotional Intelligence Sean M. McCann 35

3 Confidence Daniel R. Gould 57

4 Mental Preparation, Memorization, and Improvisation Sandra Foster Paul J. Lloyd Sara Kamin 77

II Performance Challenges

5 Performance Anxiety Kate F. Hays 101

6 Audition Anxiety David J. Grand 121

7 Working With Perfection Lynda M. Mainwaring 139

8 Competition Gloria Balague 161

III Performance-Related Consequences

9 Eating Disorders Karen D. Cogan 183

10 Isolation Shane Murphy 203

11 Overtraining, Burnout, Injury, and Retirement Kirsten M. Peterson 225

IV The Consultant And The System

12 Adolescent Performers and the Family System Douglas M. Hankes 247

13 Team Leadership Robert S. Weinberg 269

14 Hierarchical Public Safety Organizations Mario J. Scalora 289

V Conclusion

15 The Consultant as a Performer Charles H. Brown 309

Index 329

About The Editor 337

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