alexa Exploring the Attachment Narrative of a Professional Mu
ISSN: 2161-0487

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
Open Access

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Case Report

Exploring the Attachment Narrative of a Professional Musician with Severe Performance Anxiety: A Case Report

Dianna T Kenny1* and Jeremy Holmes2

1University of Sydney, Australia

2Exeter University, United Kingdom

*Corresponding Author:
Dianna T Kenny
The University of Sydney
Parramatta and City Rds
Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Tel: 61291140711
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date:: May 12, 2015; Accepted date:: June 30, 2015; Published date:: July 07, 2015

Citation: Kenny DT, Holmes J (2015) Exploring the Attachment Narrative of a Professional Musician with Severe Performance Anxiety: A Case Report. J Psychol Psychother 5:190. doi:10.4172/2161-0487.1000190


Copyright: © 2015 Kenny DT, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



The aim of this paper was to contribute to the further development of a coherent theory of music performance anxiety (MPA). Kenny (2011) proposed three forms of MPA – focal, MPA with social anxiety, and MPA with panic and depression. An attachment disorder was proposed as the underlying psychopathology for this third type of MPA. Accordingly, an open-ended in-depth assessment interview of a professional musician presenting with severe music performance anxiety that included panic attacks and depressed mood was analysed from an attachment theory perspective. We hypothesized that the musical performance setting re-triggers unprocessed feelings related to early attachment trauma, and that performance anxiety can be a manifestation of the emergence into consciousness of these powerful early feelings. As hypothesised, this musician suffered both early and current relational trauma that was expressed through particular symptomatology in his music performance anxiety. Failure to identify and treat underlying attachment disorders in severely anxious musicians may render other forms of treatment ineffective or short-lived.


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