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date: 09 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Counseling performers in distress is a highly gratifying yet complex professional endeavor that requires the practitioner to be flexible, self-aware, and committed to engaging in evidence-based practice regularly guided by the ever-evolving scientific literature. Performers come to the attention of sport/performance psychologists with an array of personal needs and levels of psychological distress. To effectively meet their needs, practitioners must have a conceptual understanding of the construct of distress, be able to assess distress along the continuum of severity, determine appropriate targets of intervention, and choose an efficacious intervention that remediates subclinical or clinical concerns while promoting psychological health and well-being. This chapter therefore provides a conceptual and practical understanding of the nonclinical, subclinical, and clinical needs of performers; describes an evidence-based approach to assessment and treatment; and highlights how setting, counselor, client, and cultural variables can affect the counseling process.

Keywords: Counseling, performer, distress, clinical, subclinical, MCS-SP, psychological treatment, performance enhancement

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