Psychology of Acting

For actors, it isn’t just the everyday stresses of auditions and competing for roles that are a strain. There are also some little understood psychological challenges they face throughout the course of their careers.


It seems that the greatest accolade an actor can receive these days is to have it said that he or she is ‘vulnerable’, ‘brave’, or ‘a risk taker’. All of these terms presuppose that the performance has cost the actor a degree of emotional and/or physical sacrifice. As the excellence bar continues to be raised, it’s demanded of actors to inhabit their characters in such a way that the boundary between actor and character can become precariously blurred.


Acting techniques that intentionally enable actors to tap into trauma (consciously or unconsciously) as a resource for character development can result in negative emotional fallout. This has been described as ‘boundary blurring’, ‘post-dramatic stress disorder’, and ’emotional hangover’. These terms describe the condition that actors can experience when they are unable to disconnect emotionally from their character. It’s important to note that the actor may not be consciously aware that this is the cause of the emotional upheaval he or she is experiencing.


Various studies around the world have demonstrated that the emotional and psychological welfare of actors has been a totally neglected area. Dr Alice Brandfonbrener, founder of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) correctly asserts then that actors are ‘the forgotten patients’.
Hypnotherapy utilises the latest findings in neuroscience and mind-body medicine to help actors maintain a state of emotional equilibrium both during and after each role. You’ll be taught techniques for accessing emotional states using anchors and triggers in order to enable rapid and safe exiting and re-entering. You’ll also be provided with tools for avoiding ’emotional hangover’ by utilising proven methods for ‘cooling down’ and effectively ‘stepping out’ of roles.