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[中] 與盧綽蘅對話:表現心理學


文字整理:Heidi Yu


作為舞蹈員、舞蹈學生、舞蹈老師,平時未必經常聽聞表現心理學(performance psychology)這個話題。今次專欄邀請了應用運動及表現心理學家盧綽蘅,解答為何舞蹈表演行業需要了解舞蹈及表現的心理學知識,以及其實際應用和益處。

(照片由Worldwide Dancer Project提供)


:運動及表現心理學是心理學其中一個分支。很多時候我們認知的心理學圍繞著心理上的疾病,但運動心理學的特別之處在於它並非圍繞著疾病,而是幫助我們探索如何從「零」去到「一」。這是指一位想提升表現的運動員或舞蹈員,追求進步的過程。進步包括心理、心態,或者是技術上的進步。心理學家會從這些層面入手,提供相應的支援。心理學家最主要的角色就是找出問題的根源,這往往要通過個人的諮詢去達到一定的效果。當一位舞蹈員認為自己缺乏信心時,不同的心理學的方法、訓練,都可用來提升他/她的自信心。在個人諮詢時,心理學家會嘗試詳細了解他/她何時缺乏信心?是否都在重要的表演之前,或平常展示時也會呢?有哪些具體的事情發生,使他/她從有信心變到沒信心?會否因為他/她的家人也從事舞蹈行業,因此受到影響?最近朋輩間發生了甚麼事情?遇到新導師、新教學方法讓他/她感到不適應,課堂上的反饋不受用?經過專業訓練的心理學家會從上述的問題中找出根源。


:可否分享一下舞蹈員與你單獨諮詢的過程,與你平時面向團體授課有何分別?


:如果一位舞蹈員單獨預約諮詢時,我通常會用一個全面的途徑(holistic approach)入手,譬如提問他/她的家庭情況、在學校的學習、舞蹈層面的表現等。在腦海裡我將所有因素鋪排開來,觀察箇中關係,了解完整的畫面,再提供適合的心理技能訓練(psychological skills)。如果是進行團體授課、教表現心理學時,我就會和學生練習一些通用的心理技能,譬如你能否回憶起自己表現最佳時的畫面,而腦海裡能產生多少個這類的畫面呢?能否練習複製這些畫面和感受,運用到接下來的表現中?你認為要專注做好哪些元素,才會幫助你建立更強的自信呢?運動表現心理學的技能看似既有專注力,又涵蓋動力、自信心等等,其實每一個元素之間都有著千絲萬縷的關係。總括而言,心理技能訓練能夠幫助舞蹈員提升表現,這也是表現心理學家主要的工作之一。


:並不是每個人都能有與表現心理學家接觸的機會,請問你有何建議,讓他們可以幫助自己進步呢?


:我建議閱讀運動或表現心理學的書,裡面會提供一些心理技能知識。例如當你想提升自信心時,可通過意象訓練(imagery)改善記憶,從而在執行動作上有所改進;放下稍遜的負面回憶,或忘卻(unlearn)曾經發生過的事情,重溫正面的記憶畫面,例如反覆在腦海裡複習自己跳舞表現最好的記憶。


余:作為舞蹈老師,如果想運用這些表現心理學的技巧到課堂上,最關鍵或者第一步可以怎樣做?


:表現心理學其中一項基礎技能訓練是訂立目標(goal setting)。老師可嘗試先將此引入課堂,雖然時間上有限制,但仍然可以簡單地每個星期用五分鐘的時間,邀請每位學生訂立一個目標:假設我想專注改善一個動作,哪些動作細節上該處理得更好呢?或是我想改善心態,令自己不再因情緒波動而哭泣、更加享受跳舞,我會選擇專注在舞蹈課堂上哪一些最能令我享受的瞬間或事情呢?目標有很多種,不一定是肢體或動作上的目標,亦可以是心理、情緒上的目標,我們又應如何照顧這些方面呢?另外,我認為不論是教舞蹈學生或是專業舞蹈員的老師,在建立課堂氛圍中都扮演著一個非常重要的角色。精益求精、追求進步、批判舞蹈員的一舉一動,確實已在行業中被視作必要的文化和常態。我認為大家需要學習怎樣在給予正面的評語和負面的批判中取得平衡,因為兩者同樣重要。老師可先指出學生完成得好的地方,然後提出建設性的批判,再以一個讚賞為結尾,像三文治一樣交叉地給予正面和負面的評語。這個反饋的方法亦得到許多舞蹈老師的認可。


:這並不代表老師不應該嚴謹地要求學生,而是表達的方式可以有所調整,對嗎?


:正確。正面和負面的反饋次序、語速和語調很重要,並未深入了解表現心理學的老師可以從這些練習入手。


:最後,我想請你建議一些心理學的書本資料,供舞蹈老師及學生參考。


:Kate Hays是一位加拿大研究表演藝術的心理學家,她編著有《Performance Psychology in Action: A Casebook for Working With Athletes, Performing Artists, Business Leaders, and Professionals in High-Risk Occupations》。美國亦有幾位著名的表現心理學家,如Linda Hamilton、Noa Kageyama。而中文書籍則可以參考我於2019年推出的《運動心理學——建立自信、盡展所長》(花千樹出版社),舞蹈老師和學生只需將書本上運動的練習和例子轉化成舞蹈場景即可。





Performance Psychology: A Conversation with Karen Lo

Original Text: Heidi Yu

Translation: Pomny Chu


Many dance artists, dance students and dance teachers have little awareness of performance psychology . We therefore decided to interview Karen Lo, a specialist in applied motion and performance psychology, to discuss why dance practitioners need to understand the psychology of dance and performance, and the practical applications and benefits of this discipline.


Lo: Sports and performance psychology is a branch of psychology. When we think of psychology, we usually think of mental illness. However, sports psychology is not about treating illness but helping to explore the journey from "zero" to "one". This means the process of improvement of an athlete or a dancer who wants to enhance his/her performance. Improvement includes psychological, mental and technical aspects, areas in which psychologists can provide support to athletes and dancers. Their primary role is to establish the root cause of any problems, which is often achieved through individual consultations.


When a dancer lacks confidence, different psychological methods and coaching can help improve this. During individual sessions, psychologists attempt to understand when the dancer feels this lack of confidence. Is it only before important performances or normal shows as well? Has something specific happened to make the person lose confidence? Is it because their family members are also in the dance industry, and this affects them? What has happened to their friends recently? Are they working with a new teacher or facing a new teaching method which they’re not comfortable with? Is their feedback not being heard? A professionally trained psychologist can determine the root of problems from these questions.


Yu: Can you tell us about the difference between individual sessions and group sessions?


Lo: When a dancer comes for an individual consultation, I tend to start with a holistic approach. For example, I ask about their family situation,their studies or their performance in dance. I lay out all the factors in my mind and observe how they relate to each other to understand the whole picture, then provide appropriate psychological skills training for the dancer. When I conduct group sessions, I tend to practise a few general psychological skills with the students. For example, can you picture the best moment in your performance? How many of those moments can you think of? Can you practise copying those moments and feelings and apply them to your next performance? What elements do you think you should focus on to build more confidence? Sports and performance psychology helps with concentration, motivation and self-confidence, to name just a few things. Each element connects with all the others. In short, psychological skills traing can help dancers improve their performance, which is one of the main jobs for a performance psychologist.


Yu: Not everyone has the opportunity to meet with a performance psychologist. What else do you suggest people can do to improve themselves?


Lo: I suggest they read books on sports and performance psychology. These books deal with psychological skills. For example, when you want to boost your self-esteem, you can improve your memory through imagery training so as to improve your performance. You can let go of bad memories, forget (‘unlearn’) negatives things that have happened and relive positive moments, memorising and repeatedly reviewing your best dance performances in your mind.


Yu: How should dance teachers apply performance psychology skills in lessons? What is the most important thing for them to do or the first step they can take?


Lo: One of the essential skills for training in performance psychology is setting goals. Teachers can start by introducing this in the classroom. Even if there are time constraints, they can simply take five minutes each week and invite each student to set a goal. Suppose I want to improve a dance movement, which parts of the movement should be specified. I want to improve my mentality, let my emotions make me cry and enjoy dancing. Which parts of the lesson do I enjoy the most and should focus on? There are many kinds of goals,not just physical or technical goals, but also mental and emotional ones. How should we take care of these aspects?


Dance teachers play an important role in establishing the atmosphere of a lesson, whether for students or professional dancers. Striving for perfection, aiming for constant improvement, criticizing every movement the dancer makes… These practices have long been seen as necessary and normal in the dance industry. I think people should learn how to balance positive and negative comments because both are equally important. The teacher can first point out what the student has done well, then give constructive criticism, ending with some praise. It is like a sandwich, giving positive and negative comments alternately. This approach to giving feedback has been recognized by many dance teachers.


Yu: This doesn’t mean that teachers shouldn’t be demanding, rather that they should adjust the way they express themselves, right?


Lo: Exactly. The order in which you give positive and negative feedback, the speed and tone of how you say things are very important. Teachers who are not familiar with performance psychology can use this as a starting point.


Yu: Lastly, can you suggest some books and information on performance psychology teachers and students can refer to?


Lo: Kate Hays is a Canadian psychologist who specialises in performing arts. She wrote the book Performance Psychology in Action: A Casebook for Working With Athletes, Performing Artists, Business Leaders, and Professionals in High-Risk Occupations. There are also several famous performance psychologists in America, such as Linda Hamilton and Noa Kageyama. For Chinese language books, I recommend my own book Sports Psychology–building confidence and achieving excellence, published by Arcadia Press Ltd in 2019. This can help if teachers and students practise the exercises and examples in the book and use them in dance scenarios.


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盧綽蘅 Karen Lo


香港運動及表現心理學家,分別於香港大學和美國波士頓大學取得社會科學學士(心理學)及運動心理學碩士學位。她的主要興趣為表現優化、學生運動員身分認同的顯著性、動機、心理抗逆力和教練心理學。


Sport and Performance Psychologist in Hong Kong. Graduated from the University of Hong Kong with Bachelor of Social Science (Psy) and Boston University in the US with Masters of Sports Performance Psychology. Her major interests are in improving performance, the significance of sports students identity, motivation, psychological resilience and coaching psychology .

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