Welcome to the webpage for clinical psychologist & performance coach, Dr. David Juncos, PsyD!
I am very passionate about working with professional and student musicians struggling with challenges that prevent them from performing at their best. I also strongly believe in using an evidence-based approach when working with them, whether it’s for treatment of music performance anxiety (MPA), for performance enhancement, or for treating other performance & practice-related issues.
I use a newer therapy called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
because it’s empirically supported as an effective treatment for anxiety
disorders, including Social Anxiety Disorder. ACT’s goal is different than
other available MPA therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),
because it doesn’t try to reduce or eliminate MPA. Rather, it teaches
flexibility in the presence of MPA. In other words, ACT teaches musicians
to be less reactive to their MPA, by mindfully accepting their symptoms and not reacting to what their minds tell them about those symptoms, while simultaneously re-directing attention and energy onto more important, self-chosen, behaviors of value to them during their performance. Once a musician learns to persist with achieving valued aims during their performances while also accepting and not reacting to their MPA symptoms, they become more psychologically flexible. For example, a valued goal for many musicians is to express emotions during their performance. However, when a musician is not accepting of their MPA symptoms, they may not persist in achieving this goal, and instead may needlessly focus on attempting to get rid of MPA symptoms. That results in a lot of wasted energy and time, which inevitably leads to frustration, shame, or other emotional distress. Rather, a more accepting musician learns not to engage in futile attempts to get rid of, or control MPA symptoms, and instead learns to mindfully observe them without reacting as much to them, while continually re-directing energy and attention onto persisting in achieving the valued goal of being more expressive, hence
I’ve recently co-authored a book on using ACT with musicians to treat MPA and other performance-related challenges. For more info about it, and to purchase it, please click below.