The anxiety of performing in front of other people may produce a variety of symptoms which are often so distressing that the individual may be forced to give up performing in public altogether. These symptoms may include blushing, excessive sweating, stuttering and feelings of terror. Some actors may be so frightened that they cannot go on stage; highly accomplished musicians may be unable to play in front of an audience and professional singers may have great difficulty singing in public.
Performance anxiety responds particularly well to hypnotherapy. During the treatment session the therapist asks the patient to rehearse the performance which causes them anxiety. In the first half of the session this is carried out in hypnosis, where as in the second half it is repeated without hypnosis. For instance a violinist who has difficulty playing in public will actually play his or her instrument first during the hypnosis and then again when they have come out of the hypnosis. In some instances if the instrument if the instrument is too large to bring into the consulting room it is possible to practice the activity in imagination during the hypnosis and the patient will repeat this in real life at home as soon as possible after the session.
This treatment approach has extremely good results for all forms of performance anxiety.