Victoria Behrends - Craniosacral therapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Masters in Liberal Arts, CA teaching credential

I've worked with many different occupations and professional folks over the years and one of my first loves has been directing productions that involved acting, music, dance and writing.

There is a level of performance that is competent and a level that can be fantastic and great ! Some of the people I work with are most interested in being great at what they do or what they study in their education.

If that is you, and you would like to find out more about how to build your quality in the Arts, or in learning information in the educational setting, you can speak to me or make an appointment at 760-753-1493. we can work in person if you are near San Diego or Los Angeles and/or we can work very effectively by distance if you are far.

As a teacher, artist and performer, I have participated in, directed and instructed creative and learning performances throughout my own professional, educational and personal life and can speak with firsthand experience of these fields. It is without doubt that physical and emotional trauma and stress and anxiety can impact creative and learning performances. I've also taught English learners for over twenty years, along with the subject areas of Visual and Theater Arts. There are new strategies and solutions with craniosacral therapy and Brainspotting that I've seen, experienced and used that can greatly help and resolve difficulties for artists and learners. Here are the specific Arts, activities and teaching areas that I have worked with for years and now use the expansion techniques discussed, with effective results.

discipline of Visual Artists, Actors, Martial Artists, Dancers, Musicians, Writers and Public Speakers can often be impacted by forms of anxiety, stage fright, panic attack, writer's block, and to injury left recorded in the body and mind. There can be current or past physical and/or emotional trauma. There might be early negative direction, instruction, or environment. There are times when the core performance of the actor and other artists can be unfulfilled potential or even lower quality than past performances have been due to fear and emotional or physical pain. Sometimes early training can itself be a source of stress and anxiety during and in later years. Physical injuries both related and unrelated to performance can have an effect on the artist's life, and anxiety and panic attacks often result.

Also, in areas of Test Taking and Language Learning, English Learning Development, Technical and Medical Fields there are concrete examples of success or less than optimum work when stress and anxiety overwhelm the student's efforts to perform. Test anxiety can appear and/or study skills evaporate from current and past stress and even unrelated trauma can bar the success of planned test taking strategies hard won by that student. When the goal is a language to learn, especially ELD for students, it is difficult enough overcoming the fear of being in the classroom as a new person, often from another country, let alone to "learn the english". 

Actors, Dancers, and Musicians can all experience creativity barriers to wonderful human performance onstage. The actor who develops extreme stage fright or an occasional panic attack, even late in a career (as did the great Sir Laurence Olivier in King Lear) finds it may have been a result from an old injury or current trauma that makes overcoming anxiety difficult to handle and coping with stress becomes impossible. Dancers, and often particularly ballet dancers frequently incur injuries that may sideline them permanently without strategies and treatment to get them back onstage and in one piece.

have their own unique relationship with their vocal and physical instruments, that can be strained over time and young musicians must be trained carefully to include the development of voice and musical discipline that is age appropriate, in order to have long lasting careers. Writers and Artists often find themselves blocked, staring at a blank canvas, screen, page wondering where did the rendering, painting, character, idea, or words go? Public speaking is an art that demands resolving the fear of public speaking at the very beginning of the career, and organization, public speaking tips and a good speech writer is not enough for amateur and professional speakers to rely on without anxiety help. Martial Arts require exact training, not just of the body but the mind, and there can be barriers erected through injury or other circumstances that get in the way of precision and the art of the martial arts practice.

I've worked with considerable success and fulfillment with all of these fields, both with craniosacral therapy and Brainspotting. overcoming sometimes huge obstacles and releasing fear and past and sometimes recent traumatic experience that gets in the way of the best Creative and Learning Performance possible.

In addition to physical and psychological therapies, there are complementary modalities, and there are strategies that can benefit these artists, as well as visual Artists and Public Speakers. Stress relief and anxiety help can come in the form of breath work, energy exercises, craniosacral therapies, Brainspotting and other modalities.

Injuries can be alleviated with Craniosacral Therapy and the trauma involved can be directly addressed and resolved with both cranial work and Brainspotting. Old and new creativity barriers to best performances can be shifted and changed to enhance the work of the actor, musician, martial artist and dancer who may have been literally stopped in their tracks with injury or apprehension, after years of study and performance in their field.

In addition, there are effective strategies and therapies that can make a huge difference to the creative performer and learner who has not had obvious trauma and stress but who has not achieved the level of excellence that is required to succeed.


What it means to perform onstage involves: Characterization, stage movement, blocking, lyrics, dance routines and choreography, orchestration, rehearsals, stage combat, learning lines and music and much more--these are all HARD work and all enormous undertaking. Overcoming anxiety and overcoming fear are often part of the territory of that creative work.
Musicians and Singers find that BSP opens possibilities of vocal range and instrumentation technique, often overwriting negative direction or training or even physical trauma. Brainspotting is helpful in achieving new levels and layers of developing technique and stage presence.

In many university research studies Test taking anxiety has been proven to lower scores in a testing environment. Often a panic attack during or before a test can paralyze a student with fear. It is possible to reduce anxiety with test taking strategies that include Brainspotting and the help of an experienced craniosacral therapist to calm the nervous system.

When testing or instruction of English for students is the goal, overcoming anxiety can be even more difficult, and yet English language learning or learning a new language as an English speaker can be improved with the same modalities mentioned. Overcoming fear in any educational setting is possible with stress relief and anxiety help and strategies that the student can continue to use on their own.

This is also true of the Writer. Writer's block can be dissolved and the freelance writer, the technical writer, the medical writer, the author who is writing short stories or online writing can go on writing quality work and meet the deadlines imposed that add further to anxiety. Creative writing can benefit from Brainspotting to remove angst, trauma and anxiety that may be impacting the work.

The visual Artist's performance can grow with Creative Performance enhanced by Brainspotting. Barriers to that creativity and technique in making Art can be removed and excellence. originality and productivity is developed further. New design and painting techniques is fostered, on canvas or computer, in sculpture, fine art, photography, or any media, without being hindered by creativity barriers, further developed with BSP.

The Martial Artist, young or old, beginning or with years of experience can hone skills and remove blocks to stronger, more centered performance for personal fulfillment or for competition. With the two modalities of Brainspotting with Creative Performance and Learning techniques many athletes have excelled. David Grand Ph.D developed BSP out of EMDR that he was using for many years in empowering athletes with sports psychology and found that BSP worked more completely and for a longer time.     (This Is Your Brain On Sports, David Grand, Alan Goldberg)

creativity, creative,
                      performance,learning         "if you focus on your goals, you can accomplish anything." Korean saying
In Martial Arts there is a sustained energy, requiring ongoing constant mind and body awareness, practice and skill--BSP can greatly enhance the martial arts training and practice in regular training, but also release fear from injury or trauma that has been experienced and can have an effect on recovery. BSP is being shown to enhance athletic performance in athletes and Brainspotting is effective with both children and adults training in martial arts. I often combine Craniosacral Therapy with BSP for the best results in overcoming fear and recovering from injury or anxiety about competition and training.

 In my small grandson's first day of Tang Soo Do at four years old, his first Korean Martial Arts instructor taught "The Black Belt Focus" to a group of little ones from 3 to five years: 
              I focus my eyes                           I focus my mind                      I focus my body                                                        
They listened carefully and repeated and understood what he meant. With that training, they will learn the skills they need in all of the areas of their lives. It's a pretty accurate description of how BSP can work, for those who didn't have the opportunity of martial arts training !

In my experience as a stage director, I have been honored to often have ALL of these fields brought together in one place, in Theatre productions, even including martial arts ! It was completely essential to have all performers, creative and learning, work together as a team to the fullest potential. I do recall, years ago, directing an experimental production very much like the Japanese woodblock below (including the Kabuki stage makeup ! ) and it would have been a great benefit to have had access then to the knowledge and modalities discussed in these pages. Now I have worked with professionals in the in Business,  Education, and in Visual and Performing Arts, including my former student, R. Lowe above, performing in CHICAGO on Broadway in his standing role for a number of years.

So again, if you have interest in these really effective techniques to reach a high level of performance in ANY field...contact me at 760-753-1493 or visit my contact page.