Performance anxiety is nothing new. But, EMDR psychotherapy treatment may help if you can relate to the following:
The big game is about to start. You’ve been practicing and training for this moment for a long time. Everyone tells you how good you are and an asset to the team.
However, just before you step onto the field, you freeze. You suddenly are filled with self-doubt.
What if you aren’t as good as everyone says you are? Are you a fraud? There was that time a year ago when you made a big mistake that cost your team the match. What if that happens again?
It’s common for therapists to use EMDR for anxiety treatment. It’s also common for therapist’s to use EMDR for peak performance. Let’s look at how EMDR psychotherapy treatment can help you get your confidence back:
Who Has Performance Anxiety
Performance anxiety can happen to anyone. There are times throughout our lives when we are expected to stand in front of others to perform. Remember that time in middle school when you had to give a speech in front of the class? Do you recall how edgy you felt, with sweat beading on your forehead as you waited your turn to speak? That’s performance anxiety. Other aspects of performance anxiety include:
- Racing thoughts
- Feelings of self-doubt
- Rapid breathing
- A belief that you are incapable or unworthy
For those who experience performance anxiety consistently, it can be debilitating. At the worst, you become paralyzed with fear and are unable to perform the activity.
When Life Reinforces Negative Beliefs
Performance anxiety may start with a single experience. You had one bad game where you didn’t perform as you should. Most of us would take a moment to pause, learn from the experience, and move on. But for others, the experience lingers. The next time you play, you are filled with negative thoughts, such as “I can’t do this.” As you can see, over time your performance on the field reinforces those negative thoughts, until it becomes a cycle. To break up the cycle, you need a powerful tool. That’s where EMDR psychotherapy comes in.
The Basics of EMDR Psychotherapy Treatment
EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a therapeutic technique designed to address and resolve negative thoughts and beliefs. Here’s what happens:
- You meet with a therapist to discuss your background and history. They help you identify key moments in your life in which performance anxiety affected you.
- The therapist teaches you self-soothing techniques to help you stay calm when you are engaging with EMDR.
- During an EMDR psychotherapy treatment session, your therapist has you recall a particular memory or part of a memory.
- At the same time, they are passing an object back and forth in front of your eyes (a pen, finger, or something similar). You track the object with your eyes.
- Together, the cognitive and physical parts of EMDR work to help you resolve the strong emotional attachment you have to the memory.
- Eventually, the memory loses its grip on your mind and recedes into the background.
The best part of EMDR psychotherapy treatment is that you are in control the entire time. If the memory starts to get too intense where the self-soothing techniques are not working, you can pause.
How EMDR Psychotherapy Treatment Aids Performance Anxiety Recovery
The reason why you are experiencing performance anxiety is that you had a life experience (or several experiences) that caused you to doubt your abilities. It’s why you have such a strong reaction whenever you are about to perform. It’s the emotional attachment associated with those memories that are holding you back. EMDR will allow you to resolve those memories and help to remove the emotional attachment connected with them. That way they no longer have to burden you in the present.
If you struggle with performance anxiety, then EMDR psychotherapy treatment might be the solution you’re looking for. EMDR can help with performance anxiety by bringing closure to memories you are holding on to that reinforce negative self-perceptions. Contact me today to learn more about how EMDR therapy can help you get your edge back,