The O Show: The Therapeutic Potential of Performance


Are our psychological issues to be explored through years of soul-searching psychoanalysis or ‘cured’ with short-term, solution-focused, cognitive behaviour tactics? Do live artists act against self-inhibiting irrational beliefs or is their work the expression of a symptom, neurosis or pathology? How can performance serve therapeutic ends? Join Oriana, guest artists and psychologists and find out all the answers!

This special edition of The O Show features Oriana’s real-life therapist, Bernadette Ainsworth who taught our host how to unconditionally accept her self and others. Perhaps more importantly, Bernadette made Oriana aware that by performing in front of a live audience, she was practicing what rational emotive behaviour therapists call ‘shame attacking’. We will explore this phenomenon further, asking Bernadette to clarify exactly how performance, the R.E.B.T. way, can be used to change our emotional responses to whatever life throws at us.

Our second guest Liz Bentley, who is a psychotherapist by day and performer/comedienne by night, does a lot of self-disclosing for someone whose day job requires a high level of anonymity. Liz will share how therapy helped her to overcome her struggles with drugs, relationships, abuse and the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and how, these days, performing ‘keeps her out of trouble’.

Also joining us is the acting coach Sam Rumbelow who feels equally strongly about the therapeutic potential of performance, but comes at it from a completely different angle. As a fierce proponent of The Method and having worked on himself through 12 years of Jungian analysis, Sam believes that our unconscious mind holds the key to our creativity and psychological wellbeing and that by experiencing the full range of our emotions we come closer to knowing what we truly desire.

total duration: 53 min
Read the Credits> 

Read more about the thinking behind this episode of The O Show on the Performance Matters website:

Photo: A. Banu Cansever Schmid
Photo: Laura Nardelli
Photo: Laura Nardelli
Photo: Laura Nardelli