Monthly Archives: April 2012

Anxiety attack. Appreciating Aubrey Huff

Baseball star Aubrey Huff is getting a lot of attention. Yesterday the SF Giants announced  that he’s been put on the disabled list because of an anxiety attack. I received requests from the SF Chronicle for an interview on the story and also from two local radio stations (KQED and KKSF).  Though I can’t comment on Huff’s situation, I can express my concern and also appreciation for what he’s going through. My concern is for his welfare and those close to him. An anxiety disorder of any kind is difficult to deal with and can be debilitating. Fortunately there are a variety of effective treatments — psychological and pharmacological– that can be helpful.  The appreciation is for being public about what’s going on. Though he may not have had much choice in the Giants’ announcement, the news is actually a public service. Many many people of all ages suffer from anxiety, and specifically from performance anxiety. Kids Read more ›

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Test anxiety = life anxiety

A recent blog post on assessing what students learn in college raises the issue of what are students really learning?

Stressed?     Then get calm, confident and focused

Just this week I had a new client come in for a consultation. An extremely competent surgeon, he suffers from performance anxiety while speaking with colleagues. He is continually feeling “less than” and his anxiety is in the way of him showing his deep competency and making a true contribution that could have lasting benefit for many people. What’s missing in this picture?

This doctor’s performance anxiety is actually a form of test anxiety or test stress. While he learned everything he had to learn in his many years of schooling and training, he never was taught the critical skills needed to build and maintain self-confidence. This is not a surprise, I’ve worked with many competent people over the years who lack confidence. Why?
Principally they were never taught about this vital aspect of life and how necessary it is in facing life’s tests. In 35 years of clinical practice as a performance psychologist and 40 years as Read more ›

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"I hate tests!" Now what?

Stop tearing your hair out!

“I HATE TESTS! I don’t want to have anything to do with them.”  How often I hear these words in my work with students and adults.  Yes, testing makes just about everyone anxious and struggling to be competitive. It turns young people off to learning because it puts the focus on results rather than process and because so much hinges on test scores– from college admissions, to teachers’ salaries, to school closings, to job placements.

But testing is inevitable-and necessary-and tests are not going away any time soon. You may hate tests, but you still have to deal with them. Hate is a strong feeling. It is filled with passion. Hating something can make you fight or drive you away from it. But if you have to take tests, which we all do in our lives, fighting with them or running away from them is not going to help Read more ›

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