REDUCING PERFORMANCE ANXIETY OF A FEMALE DANCER USING NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING AND NEURO-SEMANTICS: A CASE STUDY
Background: Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a model for targeting changes in neurological connections, using language and imagination to restructure the clients’ subjective experience. NLP has received increasing attention in the area of human performance. However, over the past two decades, a new approach named Neuro-Semantics (NS) has emerged as an NLP-stimulated approach that adopts a self-reflexive perspective of the clients’ thinking processes.
Materials and Methods: To illustrate the application of NLP and NS in sport psychology counseling, this study refers to a case study involving a dancer suffering from performance anxiety. We started the intervention using NLP as a model of intrapersonal communication, working with the dancer’s mental representation system. After our client had faced a higher intensity of anxiety, we altered the intervention to NS, which operates on a meta-cognition level of mental processes. This meta-cognitive application of NS could be vital as it could help the performers to have more control over dysfunctional thoughts and stop worsening emotional suffering and thus, the maintenance of the treatment can be sustained. The counselling lasted five months, involving 40 sessions involving two sessions per week, each lasting between 60 to 70 minutes. This study presented the client’s responses when the treatment was changed from NLP to NS.
Result: Based on the interview sessions with the client and her choreographer, it was found that the client experienced less anxiety during her performance and her physiological signs like rapid breathing, trembling knees, sweaty and cold hands, and changes in her vision had also lessened. From a behavioural point of view, she participated in training sessions more frequently and with fewer performance errors. She also became more open to communicating with other dancers.
Conclusion: The intervention had successfully helped the client to control her anxiety and to perform with fever errors.
Keywords: Self-reflexivity, dance performance, neuro-linguistic programming, neuro-semantics.