Thank you very much for appearing as Guest Speaker to the New England Piano Teachers’ Association yesterday. Your research and clinical experience combined with your understanding of the artistic temperament gave your presentation extraordinary relevance. I have received extremely positive feedback from audience members.
I look forward to reading further about your work and applying your practical suggestions to my piano teaching, as I am sure other members in the NEPTA community will do. Again, deepest thanks for your engaging and scholarly
Greetings! My name is Sean Reusch and I am a member of Local 325 Musicians Union in San Diego, CA. I am writing to thank you for the article that you published in the International Musiciain’s paper called “Don’t Call it Stage Fright: New Thinking About Music Performance Anxiety,” by Dr. Patrick Gannon (Dec 2015, pg 16). I am a professional trombonist and I perform in various musical genres throughout southern California. I have worked very hard on performing my best using various techniques for many years (ie. more efficient practicing, mental rehearsals, positive thinking, diet, exercise, centering, and mock auditions). Although all of these things helped my playing improve, sometimes I felt like I didn’t perform my best when it counted most (especially solo recitals and auditions). I contacted Dr. Gannon after reading his article and worked with him via Skype using the EMDR technique. I can’t begin to tell you about the amazing results that followed our sessions together. Through the use of EMDR, Dr. Gannon helped me free up old thoughts and feelings so I could perform in a relaxed and focused manner and play my best when it counts. Working with Dr. Gannon was really life-changing for me. I encourage any musician who feels limited by their performance anxiety to contact Dr. Gannon – they won’t be sorry!
Dr. Gannon has opened the door to performance in my life. I have always done well in front of an audience, but in spite of that, I avoided performances because I would fret and worry so much about them. I am a storyteller, and as any date on which I was going to perform a story approached, whether it was a small swap group or a local story slam, I would begin to fill with self doubt and worry. I would stop sleeping and eating about five days prior to the event. The only way I made it through it was “white knuckling it.” It was torture. Dr. Gannon has helped me put a whole system into place that scaffolds the event within a powerful routine of physical exercise and positive mental visualization. The EMDR work he did with me shifted the negative associations I had with performances to optimistic confidence in myself. While I used to be so absorbed in my own worry to notice anything beyond my own distress, now, when I am on stage, I feel I can really do what a performer should do, and that is connect with my audience!
I am an experienced mid-career professional. My long-time employer recently undertook budget cuts to manage its finances in this difficult economy. My department was among those cut. With the financial, self-image, and emotional experiences associated with job loss, along with other health and family difficulties, I began a strategy to find new employment.
Within several months, I was invited for a job interview with a highly desirable employer. I was excited with the job prospect; I was also psyching myself out. Along with the above issues, I had not interviewed in many years. I was asked to undergo a panel interview and to facilitate a training demonstration under close scrutiny, in which my skills were rusty. This is also an employer’s market, with many highly qualified candidates competing for the same job. And despite my experience, I felt that I was on the line to prove myself all over again.
The interview started out well, however, at times I experienced moments of a welling up of self-consciousness, nervousness, and self-doubt. I sometimes lost my train of thought and needed to start again. The panelists commented on it and gave me time to recompose myself. I was disappointed in my performance and was prepared to “write this one off”. Still, I did well enough and was later invited to a second round of similar interviews. But my performance had to improve.
I sought Dr. Gannon’s help to get over this “hump” and to prepare mentally for my best performance in the second interview. He recommended EMDR and assisted me in its application. During the process, I noticed a subjective decrease and leveling in the intensity in the negative memories of the first interview experience, and in its associated anxiety feelings. With his guidance, I learned to visualize and “install” a successful performance “script” to direct my next interview.
As I entered the second interview, images of the difficult first interview initially entered my mind, but they were considerably less intense and coherent than before, as were the negative feelings associated with them. I was able to put them aside, and to recover the positive imagery and feelings to focus on the task at hand. I was aware of a new level of relaxation and being able to be present for the second interview. I conducted the group facilitation well, and was invited to yet another round of similar interviews. These I completed successfully and was offered the job.
Dr. Gannon’s approach is calm, interactive, and approachable. This, coupled with his help in applying the EMDR process, helped me to find the inner resources that I needed for a successful interview and to re-boot my career. I am pleased to refer others to him for peak performance issues.
When I first came to Dr. Gannon, I was teaching Legal Writing as an Adjunct Professor, and I was trying to obtain a full-time position despite my demons. I’ve always been an intelligent, hard-working, and educated person, but I had Type II Trauma from an emotionally and sexually abusive child hood. I had a negative tape in my head, my mother’s voice whispering that I was not good enough, that other people were out to get me, that at my core I did not matter and was not worthy of being loved. Thus, in meetings with authority figures, in confrontational situations, in interviews, and the like, I would often choke. My heart would pound, and I would get defensive. I felt just awful all the time.
And yet, here I was, trying to compete for one of twenty positions throughout the country in my field. The full-time positions as a law professor are hard enough to get. Tenure-track positions are even fewer and further between for legal writing. In this down economy, I was competing with thousands of lawyers. My competition included other adjunct and full-time professors, many of whom went to the best schools, had great careers as lawyers, had spoken at conferences, and had published articles.
To prepare me for this competition, Dr. Gannon used EMDR and Cardio Imagery & Rehearsal to build a positive landscape in my mind. Many of the people I know who have trauma issues are afraid of EMDR because they are afraid to visit past pain. Well, it’s true, during EMDR painful images arise. There were times when I saw my mother shouting and the Wicked Witch of the West circling around me. I even imagined being eaten or torn up by knives. Sometimes I would cry during our sessions. But these images only came up because they were already with me, lurking around in my subconscious, sabotaging me. I had to face them to expel them.
With EMDR and Cardio Imagery & Rehearsal, we were able to replace those nightmare images with healthy and confident ones. I pictured making eye contact, listening, spreading sparkling energy around the room, rolling in and out like waves.
As a result, I was confident as I led my classes and attended networking events, meetings, and interviews. I had eight interviews at a recruitment conference, and those resulted in five “call-backs.” These call-back interviews were three day long interviews full of dinners and panels. At each I also had to give a presentation before the entire faculty and answer questions. I received a number of questions that would have made me stumble at one point. For instance, I used to always get nervous when people asked why I moved because I moved for my ex-spouse’s job. After working with Dr. Gannon, I felt confident when I answered this question. I answered briefly with a smile and moved on. I even rolled with an unexpected virus that hit me during the interview process.
Before I even made it through all of the interviews, I received an offer for a tenure-track job at a school that I loved. They tripled my current salary. I am making six figures plus great benefits, and now I will be able to dedicate my summers to writing and scholarship without having to teach summer school.
In the end, I got something that I’ve dreamed of for years, and in the future, I will be able to use Dr. Gannon’s techniques to diffuse any number of anxiety provoking situations. My career is set now, and I feel that so much of the rest of my life seems stable now. I will always be grateful. I hope that others take advantage of these techniques to overcome their past and achieve their dreams as well.
Dr. Gannon provides help not only with Marriage Preparation, but also overcoming fears or blocks that you may have. I went to see Dr. Gannon after continually having tremendous anxiety over public speaking. In just a few short sessions, I was able to not only alleviate the anxiety leading up to my presentations, but also deliver much more effective presentations. After my last public speaking event, I actually had several people come up and tell me what a great job I had done. That had never happened in the past and would not have happened without Dr. Gannon’s help. I’d highly recommend him to anyone with public speaking fears.
I am an attorney for a large company and was recently asked to give a talk to a relatively large number of people (50 to 70). Although I had plenty of experience arguing a case in front of a judge, my public speaking experience in front of large groups was limited. I was nervous that I would stumble over my words or lose my train of thought, things that have occasionally happened to me in the past.
Dr. Gannon worked with me for four sessions on ways I could reduce my performance anxiety while enhancing my presentation skills. We first set goals for how I wanted the presentation to go. He gave suggestions about how to fashion a speech that would be engaging and help me connect with my audience. Rather than being anxious about what NOT to do, he helped get me excited about what I COULD do. This alone was tremendously helpful.
But, I still needed help to reduce my anxiety which surfaced whenever I thought about the upcoming presentation. He suggested we use a new technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). The EMDR helped me channel my anxiety and nervousness into positive energy which, for me, led to a fantastic presentation. Instead of being nervous, I was animated, engaging and relaxed. I gave the best presentation of my life to several of the top level people in my organization.
After the talk, dozens of people came up to me and congratulated me, something that never happened in the past. I highly recommend Dr. Gannon’s program to turn performance anxiety into peak performance.
I am a San Francisco Conservatory of Music alumna (BM ’79, MM ’99) writing in support of Dr. Patrick Gannon. Although I have worked as a professional horn player for over 30 years, last summer I realized I needed help to achieve my full potential. My collaboration with Dr. Gannon has been life changing, both personally and professionally, and I feel many conservatory
students would also gain from working with him.
The results that can be gained from utilizing Dr. Gannon’s techniques go far beyond “just playing better” (although that is a really good thing!). Dr. Gannon is a leader in the field of brain-based technology for peak performance. His own background as an athlete adds to his insight about performance and peak performance training. He is competent and professional as well as kind and sympathetic.
I am a professional musician, composer and engineer. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA from 2001-2005, I have composed numerous pieces of music for film and television, and toured internationally as a performing pianist. I have been a client of Dr. Patrick Gannon’s for more than six years.
Despite receiving a first-rate education at Berklee and studying under some truly outstanding composers and pianists, my capacity for success was limited by crippling performance anxiety and an inability to remain focused during my practice sessions. I came to see Dr. Patrick Gannon based on a colleague referral in the hopes that some of his progressive work in the field of performance optimization would help. Essentially, I would suffer overwhelming anxiety before and during actual performances, thus nullifying any preparation and earning me the title of a “choke artist”. This was, of course, devastating to my reputation and career.
Dr. Gannon’s unique and innovative approach integrates traditional psychotherapy, behavior modification and emerging brain-based techniques to create a powerful system for eliminating performance anxiety. After a few weeks of working with Dr. Patrick, we were able to successfully isolate the cause of the anxieties, develop techniques to manage them and modify my practice regimen for greater efficiency. I started to feel as if I had a “tactical advantage” out on stage, and that our work was giving me a professional “edge”.
After one year of Dr. Gannon’s program, I am completely free of performance-related stress
On a personal note, I found Dr. Gannon to be empathetic, understanding and patient. Performance issues for musicians can be emotionally devastating, but Dr. Gannon’s professional acumen and skill created a safe environment for change. Furthermore, Dr. Gannon’s understanding of the arts and the “creative process” make him uniquely qualified to deal with members of the performing arts community. His program is also effective for athletes, public speaking, or any other field that has a narrow margin for error.
I highly recommend Dr. Patrick Gannon’s program. It is comprehensive, powerful and very effective. Before my work with Dr. Gannon, my anxiety would dominate the stage and I never got to experience the fulfillment of a great performance. Now, I’m proud to say I’m working more than ever, and enjoying the all the professional and personal success.