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    Experience. Compassion.


Stage fright clinic

It is estimated that over 50 per cent of musicians in orchestras suffer, at least occasionally, from anxiety symptoms in concert and during rehearsals.

The stage fright clinic in Bonn was founded in the summer of 2010 by Dr. Déirdre Mahkorn in the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy at Bonn University Hospital, in order to provide musicians who suffer from stage fright with a contact point that provides them with counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy as a way out of their agonizing experiences of anxiety. We wish to continue the work begun there in our new practice in Cologne. Many of the musicians treated by Déirdre Mahkorn in her stage fright clinic at Bonn University Hospital were suffering from on-stage panic attacks at the time of their first visit to the clinic and, following cognitive behavioural therapy, they now once again enjoy exercising their profession.

Physical manifestations of such fear are palpitations, tremor (for example a shaky bow hand in the case of string players, or a shaky voice in the case of singers), subjectively perceived shortness of breath, a dry mouth and hyperventilation with pins and needles in the hands, feet or face. Many musicians experience blushing or sweat heavily. Frequently, the physical discomforts become independent to such a degree that they are perceived as a handicap by performers. Fear-avoidance behaviour, cancellations of concerts and projects or pulling out of concert life altogether are very often are the result of fears that seem increasingly uncontrollable and often lead to a decision to quit working altogether as a professional musician.

Our concept is to show you ways of facing these fears in your everyday professional life by your own strength. Apart from receiving detailed information on how anxiety disorders manifest themselves, our patients are also informed about all available evidence-based methods and procedures.

The extensive analysis of dysfunctional cognition (detrimental thought patterns), in light of your personal medical history, provides the foundation for very practice-oriented work with regular confrontation exercises that grow more difficult as they progress.