Today’s guest is Dr David Juncos

Dr David Juncos a clinical psychologist, performance coach, a voice workshop lecturer, and co-author of the book ACT for Musicians, which is due for release in the coming months. David shares that he considers himself to be a “third wave” therapist, with additional training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy otherwise known as (ACT). In this episode, he describes ACT as an evidence-based psychotherapy that aims to promote mindfulness and acceptance and he explains how he has been able to successfully treat performance anxiety in musicians, as well as singers, using this treatment approach.

David also answers questions around willingness and avoidance and how they relate to dealing with problems such as anxiety, including performance anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, as well as depression. David breaks down the signs and symptoms of all of these issues and identifies the possible impairments that filter into the lives, work and relationships of those who are suffering with these problems.

This is such a powerful and informative episode and one of the most important pieces of information that resonated with me, is David reinforcing the idea that we, as teachers, should only do what we have been trained to do and that if we ourselves, are in trouble, we must seek help. There is so much to unpack in this episode, so be sure to listen carefully.

In this episode

1:17 – Introducing Dr David Juncos

6:33 – David’s inspiration to study psychology

14:01 – David’s motivation to work with singers

23:05 – How to access ACT psychotherapy

28:37 – Where do we draw the line between therapist and teacher

39:29 – What is depression and how does it differ from anxiety?

43:16 – Dealing and treating with addictions

45:04 – Is one addiction harder to treat than another?

46:33 – CAGE screener technique for identifying alcohol addiction

51:38 – Particular drugs more prevalent amongst musicians


Research Gate:

Book to be published this July with Universal Publishers: ACT for Musicians: A Guide for Using Acceptance & Commitment Training to Enhance Performance, Overcome Performance Anxiety, and Improve Well-Being.


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:00

Hi it’s Marissa Lee here, and I’m so excited to be sharing today’s interview round episode with you. In these episodes, our brilliant lineup of guests will include healthcare practitioners, voice educators, and other professionals who will share their stories, knowledge and experiences within their specialised fields to empower you to live your best life. Whether you’re a member of the voice, community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. It’s time now to share your gift with others develop a positive mindset and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, it’s time for you to live your best life. It’s time now for a voice and beyond. So without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode.  This week’s guest is Dr. David Junkers, a clinical psychologist, performance coach, a voice workshop lecturer, and co author of the book act for musicians, which is due for release in the coming months. David shares with us that he considers himself to be a third wave therapist with additional training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, otherwise known as Act. In this episode, he describes act as an evidence based psychotherapy that aims to promote mindfulness and acceptance, and he explains how he has been able to treat performance anxiety in musicians, as well as singers using this treatment approach. David also answers questions around willingness and avoidance, and how they relate to dealing with issues such as anxiety, including performance, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, and addiction, as well as depression. David carefully breaks down the signs and symptoms of all these issues, and identifies the possible impairments that filter into the lives, work and relationships of those who is suffering from these problems. This is such a powerful and informative episode. And one of the most important pieces of information that resonated with me, is David reinforcing the idea that we, as teachers should only do what we have been trained to do, and that if we ourselves are in trouble, we must seek help. There is so much to unpack here, and I urge you to listen carefully. Without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode Hi, David, and welcome to the show. It’s such a pleasure having you on our podcast, a voice and beyond. How’s life for you in Philadelphia?

Dr David Juncos  03:43

Life is great. Today as it happens is my firstborn daughter’s 10 month birthday today literally to the day so Oh, she’s gonna be a year old in two months, which is bananas. That’s really blowing my mind because it seemed like she was born yesterday. So she is she is the new love of my life. She’s the cutest little baby ever. And she’s crawling and she’s babbling up a storm and she’s going to be walking and talking soon so oh life is great with her and it is very good. So what’s her name? Her name is Paloma Fleur. Hello Matt Fleur. Like French for flour Fleur? Yes. I’m half Latin. I’m half Latino, my dad’s from Argentina so I wanted to keep the kind of Latin vibe going with the first name there’s Oh, thank you. I don’t know why. Paloma. I just always had that name floating in my head. I just love it. It’s just super like unique and pretty and artsy and cool. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:38

Yes, because there’s a song called isn’t it Ena Palma Blanca?

Dr David Juncos  04:42

Una Palma Blanca?. Yeah, right.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:44

So you are a clinical psychologist. You are a performance coach, a voice workshop lecturer. And you have co authored a book which is due for release in the coming months that I’m so excited for you about When I looked you up on the web, man, there is so much that you so much work that you do that I’m absolutely fascinated in. And I feel like a child in a candy store having you here right now. But let’s do some digging first. Talk about the psychologist. So is that what you studied out of school?

Dr David Juncos  05:27

Yeah, that’s my primary role out of all those hats that you just described there. This is the one the longest and the most expensive that but the most enjoyable have to I have a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from the school in Philly. I’ve been out of school for almost 10 years now since 2014 or so. And, yeah, I am a generalist in private practice, I work with adults and teens, ages 14 and up, treating a garden variety of problems, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, ADHD, work, stress, school stress, marital stress, I’m also a couples therapist. You name it, when you work as a generalist, you kind of treat anyone who walks through the door. For the most part, I do have some people that I specialise in. And also some people then perhaps less equipped to handle so.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:15

And we’re going to my main gig there. Yeah. And we’re going to talk about some of those things that you work with, because I’m so fascinated, and some of them are very relevant, relevant to creative performers, and creative artists. But I need to ask you, what inspired you to go into psychology because I know a lot of people do psychology because of their own kind of emotional baggage to they’re trying to better themselves.

Dr David Juncos  06:45

I always was interested in psychology, from a young age, I think I’ve been blessed to be raised by two parents who were in helping professions of their own my mom, she’s departed now. But she was a social worker. So I kind of got hit by that book. I like working with people. My dad is a medical doctor, from Argentina, very, you know, very socially adept, and awesome person as well. So I just I love people, and I’d love to work with people. And that’s the general answer. The specific answer is I was an introvert growing up in a family of extroverts. So I kind of needed to have the ability to introspect and understand why my personality was a little different compared to my family. And so I spent a lot of time kind of thinking about my family and thinking about my interactions with my family, and just kind of, you know, in my head, whereas my family is just kind of doing their thing and just kind of extra vertising in front of me, if you will. So I think when you feel a little bit different compared to the people around you it, it makes psychology at the forefront of your mind more often because it becomes a lot more personal irrelevance kind of thing and kind of to answer your question like, you assume, yeah, you know that that was challenging. I think a lot of psychologists have, you know, similar kind of challenges, life challenges that they needed to figure out, therapy or psychology was a way to help them figure it out.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:06

I completely understand. I have a family of big personalities. And I’m, I think I’m kind of like a big personality myself. But when I’m with my family, I’m the quietest one there. So you can relate. It’s overwhelmed, yes. But I think when you come from a family of big personalities, you can’t all be big, there has to be someone that is a little bit more submissive, and someone that’s there quietly, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s just that we’re all different. Of course, yes.

Dr David Juncos  08:42

And you need someone to to understand everyone. And if you’re too busy talking all the time and kind of showing off the time and you know, you’re not going to play both of those roles. It’s helpful to be you know, they’re extroverted. But it’s also helpful to kind of pull back and be reserved and be thoughtful and introverted at times too. So,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:00

well, you probably listened more than what they did and you probably learnt a lot more than what they did because you weren’t listening.

Dr David Juncos  09:07

Yes. I wish I could bring you to my next family function and you can you can cheerlead for everything that I went through when I was younger, very clear to them.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:17

Okay. Yeah,

Dr David Juncos  09:18

I definitely do listen.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:20

Okay, so when’s that on? And I’ll let you know. Okay. Okay. All right. So, let’s talk about the singing side of what you do to start with. And now how did you come to work with singers and have you sung yourself?

Dr David Juncos  09:41

I have a song Is that how you say yes, I am a singer. I’ve been the singer of a rock band original rock music band that I was also a principal songwriter. And so that’s probably where this push to work with singers come from. But I’ve also been trained in singing to it wouldn’t say classically trained. But yeah, when I was a kid, I was a member of boys choir in my school. So I guess that would be a formal kind of version of singing training there. But But I didn’t take private lessons for singing. I took private lessons for other instruments, but not for singing. Okay, so some training, if you will. And I just, I don’t know, I gravitate towards singers because they, they need help a meaning, you know, they, they have a very unique kind of condition, if someone has performance anxiety, and they’re an instrumentalist. They can kind of hide behind the, the anxiety hide behind the instrument, I mean, whereas singers You can’t hide and when you’re a singer, performance anxiety you want to hide, you know, that’s, that’s often the behavioural manifestation of anxiety, you’d rather just not be seen in that vulnerable state like that. But there’s, there’s no hiding it, you have to do it sometimes. So I think there’s there’s that reason to I just, I, I think they need help, like I said, and it’s just, it’s fun. It’s fun working with singers, I get along well with them. So I didn’t need any more professional reasons, or is that good enough?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:04

No, no, I actually didn’t need too many because I’m a singer, myself. And I say this with love. And I, me included in this statement, I always say us singers are pretty messed up. Where we’re so much in our heads all the time, it doesn’t matter whether we’re suffering from performance, anxiety or not, we are always in our heads. And we’re so judgmental of everything that comes out of our mouths, and sometimes, even before it’s come out of our mouth. So that’s why there was a little chuckle when you made that earlier statement, I just meant, we are a very special breed. I agree. So you do work, you consider yourself a third wave therapist, and you have additional training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. So what is that?

Dr David Juncos  12:00

ACT is, as you rightly point out, it’s a third wave behavioural therapy, meaning the third wave is the mindfulness of acceptance wave. This follows the second wave, which was the cognitive and behaviour the cognitive wave, if you will behavioural psychotherapy. But this newer wave has been popular in like the last 15 to 20 years. And is it’s it’s in my opinion, smarter, because it aims to teach the way you relate to your thoughts teach you to relate differently to your thoughts, excuse me. So whereas CBT teaches you to change the content of your thinking. So it’s less, you know, distorted and more based in reality, which can take time to build up that skill to kind of restructure the way you think, but act and similar mindfulness and acceptance based therapies. So you don’t really need to change the content, you can just change the way or the context in which you experience these thoughts. That way you relate differently to them. And when you relate differently to them, you respond more flexibly to them. It’s intuitive, because it teaches you to put less effort into changing what you basically can’t change and just learning to kind of increase your willingness to be with anxiety, without struggle without kind of trying to get rid of it, while simultaneously putting energy into things that are really valuable for you. For example, if you’re a singer and you really value expressing yourself and value like connecting with the audience, then the idea is can you do two things at once? Can you feel anxious on the one hand, and not really struggle against that and just kind of let that be while simultaneously connecting while simultaneously expressing if you have to do that while anxious, that’s hard to do. Right. But that is an act of flexibility. So the main goal and an act specific the act not shared among the other. Third wavers is psychological flexibility. How flexible Can you behave while feeling uncomfortable, basically.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:45

So okay, so what I get from that is you allow yourself to feel the feelings that you’re feeling, but it’s how you process them. That changes

Dr David Juncos  13:58

It’s how you respond to them. Yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:59

How you. So what then motivated you to use that therapy? On singers? How did all that come about?

Dr David Juncos  14:11

Sure. Well, I started out with instrumentalist. The first work I did in the Spain was my dissertation back in the day in 2010 2011, or so. I worked with a pop and rock drummer in Philly actually. And this is Believe or not, it was not the first time the Act had been used with music from sing daddy, there was a Swedish master’s thesis that had been done in like the year prior. So but regardless, it this is a new kind of application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. So I tried that out it went well. I administered 12 sessions at ACC therapy to this pop and rock drummer. He got better I was like, this is pretty cool. So after I graduated, I replicated that with a student violinist at a local university, kind of using everything that I learned in the previous project and kind of refined and tinkered as I went. That’s Don’t even better results, I got that published, and then came across the opportunity to work at a elite choir College in New Jersey, perhaps you well, maybe I shouldn’t mention them. I’m not sure if they want to mention them. But their name is in the research study. So I had a friend who was an alum at that school. And I think my, my connection to working with singers was very much because of my connection with this singer. But this friend of mine in particular, she was a graduate of the school. And I wanted to do another research study that was a little bit bigger than the previous two. And I was like, You know what, this seems like the gods are aligning nicely here. So let me try this out. And long story short, after months, and even a year of trying to get through the front door, they eventually agreed to let me do this study at this particular park. So I did a small group intervention with a group of seven singers at that particular school. And they all got 12x psychotherapy sessions, plus the chance to do group performances in front of each other as part of the exposure therapy part of the therapy, which is a big component of fact. And, you know, similar to the previous two studies, they got better in the same kinds of ways. So it’s just been growing this kind of research that I’ve been doing is started out with small scale projects and growing a little bit incrementally with every project that I do. Together. The most recent study that I done was with singers and I just was hooked. Yeah, I guess.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:21

And so have you worked with a one on one singer, as opposed to a group of singers?

Dr David Juncos  16:29

Yes. Yeah. So in in a different context, not in a research setting. But yeah, as a performance coach? Absolutely. I’ve worked with pretty established pop and opera stars, as a performance coach. And I, of course, I use act within my performance coaching, too. So.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:45

So just I know, this is very big to unpack the whole of everything that you do. But where do you start? Like, just say, I come into I suffer from performance anxiety? What would you do in that first session?

Dr David Juncos  17:01

Good question. And there’s so many ways to start a good way, the first thing that comes to mind is building rapport. You have to know that this person is going to trust you. And you know, having having research in this vein under belt certainly is a form of credibility. So before they even come through the door that that helps that you know, to know what you’re doing and know what you’re talking about certainly helps. But more clinically speaking, I like to give them a Likert scale. If you can, I have to use my hands here because I don’t have a piece of paper. That’s right. And I say like imagine the scale of zero to 10, right here. And on this side, you have low numbers right here, you have the middle over here, you have high numbers, I asked them how willing are you to perform with your anxiety present on a scale of zero to 10. And usually, more often than not, they’re gonna say, as you can probably guess, like a 101 or two. I tell them that. Well, it’s more often the case that yeah, when they’re struggling with problematic or debilitating anxiety, it’s usually because they have low ones. But that’s the punchline. So let me set up the Joker’s set up the premise first here. When you’re at a low number, the way you relate to your anxiety is, this is a bad thing. It’s like you’re in a negative relationship with it, and you want to get out of it, basically. So it’s marked by avoidant behaviour and just stress. However, when your answers in the middle, if you’re like a four or five out of 10, the way you relate, it’s not the same. The way you relate to it is it’s a thing. I may not like it sometimes, but I like another time. So it’s kind of like a more balanced perspective that you hold, and therefore you’re not going to be as highly avoidant towards it, or towards situations that trigger it. So your ability to relate and respond to it is different when you’re right here in the middle. And obviously, if you’re someone over here who loves anxiety, I don’t know who they are. But if you view anxiety provoking situations is like exhilarating and exciting. Of course, they exist. There are thrill seekers out there who women viewed as anxiety, they would view as excitement, right? Yes, they probably don’t need much of my help. But they’re not the kinds of people that come to me for help in the first place. So yeah, it’s usually the people that are over here that are struggling, and to be told that the way you relate actually can change, you can grow a more neutral relationship towards your anxiety and that will enable you to respond a little more flexibly in its presence. And I can teach you how to do that one can learn how to do that. And that can be very healing and very helpful for someone here that you know, you don’t have to stay stuck in this kind of bad romance, if you will, over here. With your anxiety you can learn to change the way you relate and therefore respond to it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:40

Because if if someone loves singing for Buddhists use singing as the example but if someone loves singing, and they could have the opportunity of having a brilliant career in that field, to suffer that performance anxiety is such a shame but it is because you’re missing out on life and they’re missing out on doing the very thing that they’re most passionate about.

Dr David Juncos  20:09

Yeah. And missing out on being really successful even Barbra Streisand comes to mind, I’m sure you know that story. Yes. I use her as a as a case example. And hopefully, hopefully, she’ll allow me to do this. But this is all publicly available information about her. So she forgot the lyrics to a song, you know, in front of 1000s upon 1000s of people in Central Park in the mid to late 60s or so. And she refused to go back. She refused to do public performances for like 20 or 30 years. Yes. And this is Barbra Streisand, we’re talking. This is someone who is obviously a very gifted, talented person, but imagine what she could have done had she not had that experience. And well, more importantly, imagine what she would have done if she hadn’t avoided going back.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:54

I was going to say it’s the avoidance because everyone forgets the words at some point of time. I know, in my own little performance career, and I don’t compare myself to Barbra Streisand. But I can assure you, but I remember there was one specific time because forgetting the words was always my greatest fear onstage. And how I handled it is, if ever, I did have the thought, while I was singing on my gosh, you’re going to forget the words while I was actually performing. That’s when you’d forget them. So I would make them up. And I remember one night, I was singing in a bar, and I was singing blue by you. And everyone knows that song. Everyone was singing along, and I forgot the words. So I started making them up. And I was singing like, the grass is green, the sky is blue. We are having a fun time just making them up. And the funniest thing, the funniest thing, though, because I didn’t show that I had forgotten the words. And I just compose myself and didn’t. I just kept Pokerface no one can tell. No one could tell. But the Nope. Awful that. People were singing the words with me. Yeah, the wrong words with me. It was the funniest thing.

Dr David Juncos  22:19

It doesn’t matter. Right? That goes to show that as long as you just accept and are willing to have that experience happened to you, then the way you relate is more neutral, then it becomes a thing rather than this dreadful, awful experience to be avoided. Right? Yes. And had had I ever had the chance to talk to Barbra Streisand. I’m sure if I were if I were to ask her, you know, okay, where do you fall here on your willingness to do things to perform, and particularly anxiety present, she probably at that age, that point would have said, it’s the most awful thing. Forgetting song lyrics in Central Park when I’m in my 20s is just the worst thing ever. I never want to do that again. Okay. So that is a relationship that’s marked by low willingness, avoidance and distress. Unfortunately for

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  23:04

yes. And so you have this 12 week programme, it seems as though you keep saying it’s 12 weeks or 12 sessions, and you have a book coming out about this. So is this something that people can also use outside of being in a clinic with you?

Dr David Juncos  23:27

Excellent question. I’m glad you asked me that. Yes, absolutely. And it doesn’t need to be done clinically, at all. Really, the beauty of the Act model is exist in both clinical and non clinical versions. So when use non clinically we call it act coaching or act of training as opposed to add psychotherapy. And I’ve had the pleasure of overseeing two masters theses at the voice Study Centre, piloting act coaching rather than act psychotherapy is an MPH treatment. And in both cases, these were done. The studies were done by singing teachers with zero education in psychology or psychotherapy, zero background in that, and with less than 10 hours training from me, in Act coaching, X psychotherapy, they replicated the work that I did with those seven students as well as other students, other musicians I’ve worked with, which has great implications for now. If you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of you know, background in psychology, fret not as long as you work with students or if you work with you know, coaches, if you’re a coach, if you if you have someone’s best growth potential in mind, you know, then perhaps doing some act coaching would be beneficial for you to get involved here. So, I’d love to talk further about you know, when this is appropriate to do when it isn’t competence, etc. But I’ll just quickly share that these two particular students they were thrilled to be able to feel helpful to feel like you know, as a singing teacher, they sure could spot the signs and symptoms of performance anxiety, but prior Getting this Training Act, they had no idea like how to intervene, they just didn’t know what to do. But there’s good research showing that music students don’t always want to talk to a psychotherapist, they’d prefer to talk to their teacher because they already had that before

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  25:12

we, yes, as frontline workers, you are a time with students? Yes,

Dr David Juncos  25:19

You, believe it or not, there’s good psychotherapy research showing that it doesn’t matter. The style therapy that you do, what’s most important and most predictive of a good outcome is the relationship. So if your relationship is marked by empathy, if it’s marked by, you know, a good working rapport, good working relationship, and then it doesn’t really matter what the content of the therapy is what you’re doing, you’re still going to be helpful. So if you’re, if you’re a music teacher, who is wondering, should I get involved? And should I do this kind of work? I would say yes, if you have these kinds of qualities within your relationships with your students that’s marked by empathy, and like a strong partnership, where you can agree on the kinds of problems to be solved and problems to be worked on, then you’re already helpful, because those are good, robust predictors of therapy outcomes. So in those situations, yes, you might want to consider doing this kind of work. I also hinted at ethical issues, too. So we talk about this often, boy Study Centre, if you’re going to be taken on this kind of work, there’s some things you need to know. So first of all, do only what you’re trained to do. If you’ve never done any kind of performance coaching within the studio before with a private student, then don’t start doing it. You know, you want to be training, obviously, it’s like any professional development skill here, right? Yes. And do do what’s in your students best interest to so if, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not to do it, and you’ve had some training? Would it be in the student’s best interest for you to kind of have, you know, do it? Or should you wait until you’re a little more competent at doing this first, though, usually want to err on the side of making sure that you’re competent to deliver this kind of stuff here. So quickly, to just kind of summarise here, when when it comes to matters of competence. It really just is a matter of how much training do you have an act as a singing teacher, as any kind of non clinical practitioner, you can certainly take advantage of both clinical and non clinical training opportunities, like classes, workshops, you know, peer groups, etc, these all exist. And I highly recommend doing that plus reading on the subject. And even then, even then, if you think you’re ready to start doing this work, consult with an expert consult with a supervisor who can evaluate you for your readiness to do this kind of work. Because you really need to know what the ACT model is all about. You need to know, you know, what performance anxiety looks like? What are common symptoms of it, you need to know what kind of act technique would be useful based on the symptoms based on the particular student in question here. And then when you can display to a supervisory person, an expert, that you actually know what you’re talking about, and you’ve had some experience on your belt in doing some performance coaching light work, then yeah, then perhaps you’ll be ready to do this kind of work.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  28:00

Wow. So it’s, I mean, as singing teachers, we’re working with human beings. And this is where sometimes you know, you have science versus a human, you know, and taking on, you can look at it, you can look at a computer screen at all the little sound waves and, but that’s not going to heal everything. That’s not always going to fix everything. There’s always so much going on with the student. And we’re not therapists, and I’ve had this discussion with other guests. What when do you believe we start crossing that boundary between a therapist and singing teacher?

Dr David Juncos  28:48

Sure, it’s a very good question. And you want to make sure you stay in your lane, obviously. So if you’re addressing personal issues that are not related to music performance are not related to practice the practice of music to then that would fall outside of your jurisdiction, there are so talking about like relationship issues, talking about, you know, significant mental health problems, substance abuse, etc. Those don’t really relate directly to the practice and performance of music, whereas performance anxiety, arguably does relate to the performance and practice of music. So I see no problem in teachers getting involved in doing this kind of work. Just like there are other evidence based frameworks and training programmes like mental health, first aid training, like applied behavioural analysis. These are programmes that teachers can get involved with that have come originally from psychology, but they then crossed over to educational settings into other non clinical settings, because they relate to the daily work of the teacher in the classroom, the teacher in the private studios. So arguably, if it’s related to performance, then yes, I think as long as you have those relationship qualities and you have the competence and the readiness as evaluated by someone you know, who knows what they’re doing, then give it a shot.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  30:00

and all those trainings that you were talking about previously to do with act? Are they things that you offer? Can people come to you for for all of those? Like, do you hold workshops yourself for voice teachers, that

Dr David Juncos  30:19

I am in the process of doing more and more of this work here, because as you can imagine, the demand is high for this year. So, thus far, I’ve been doing trainings primarily through the voice Study Centre, I do act for MPA music performance anxiety courses through the voice Study Centre. I also do other acts for performance enhancement and kind of non MPA related stuff through the voice studies amplitude. So yes, to that I’m growing. I’m growing this this training package, though, so it’s, it’s still burgeoning, if you will. But I would like for this to be at the place where Mental Health First Aid training is or where applied behavioural analysis is where it becomes like a ready, readily accessible training package for a teacher to make use of because it really informs what they do. And it makes them more confident to handle these kinds of issues as they come up on the fly. So that’s the direction I would love for this to go on here for it becomes commonplace for teachers just Yeah, sure. I’m doing the music performance anxiety training, who doesn’t you know what I mean, it’s really helpful, of course.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  31:22

And I think we have become so much more aware, especially since COVID, about different issues, different mental health issues that people are suffering with. I know for myself, as a teacher, we talk about performance anxiety, more. So now to which is kind of strange, because people haven’t been performing for so long. But I’ve noticed a change in my own students in things such as depression, anxiety, so many more students have come back to face to face learning, where they’re not the same. Students who are more anxious. There are a lot of students been medicated. A lot of students haven’t returned to school or university. A lot of these people have been impacted. And I made the comment earlier, that we are often the front line workers and one thing, we have talked about anxiety on the show, but can we talk a little bit about depression? Yeah, of course. So what is depression? How do we define depression as opposed to anxiety?

Dr David Juncos  32:37

Depression is well, the clinical term would be major depressive disorder, which is a mood disorder, which basically means that mood is an umbrella term that encapsulates a variety of things, not just your emotional state and includes your energy levels, your concentration ability, or your behaviour, your activities, your decision making. And all these areas, therefore effective when someone has a mood disorder by major depressive disorder, or bipolar disorder, which is kind of the opposite. So depression, commonly speaking refers to major depressive disorder, as an awfully doesn’t often refer to both bipolar disorder, and depression. That’s clear. And it is, it’s a lot more impairing compared to anxiety. Compared to performance anxiety, meaning, anxiety, as bad as anxiety can get, it doesn’t really like make it difficult for you to get out of bed or doesn’t make it difficult for you to, to go about your job and to go about school if you’re still a student. So you see a lot more impairment when it comes to cases of depression than you do with anxiety. So anxiety compared to depression is more distressing, in some ways, because again, to do things with anxiety present, especially in front of an audience is really subjectively distressing. But you see more objective impairment when it comes to depression, because it’s something that literally gets in people’s way. And sadly, this is a problem with musicians, musicians tend to be more sensitive than the average person. There’s certainly a lot of large survey data showing the musicians have problems with depression anxiety at like three or four times more than the average person does. And in Australia, in the UK, actually. So there’s something to either the profession of being a musician that lends itself to depression, anxiety, or just the psychological makeup, the person who goes into the profession or little column a little column B, it’s hard to know, you know how to tease those two apart fully. But it’s interesting from the ACT perspective, this is the beauty of Act. The engine that drives the disorder version of depression is highly similar to what drives the anxiety disorder, what drives substance abusing what drives a lot of other problems. And that is experiential avoidance. So if someone to use this scale again, was on the lower side, meaning they’re unwilling to do things with anxiety present, they’re probably also unwilling to do things with depression present, or with urges to get higher urges to drink alcohol present. And the engine therefore that drives this Need to kind of like keep on drinking or this need to avoid things that drive anxiety up or this, this desire to escape a low mood by sleeping or you know, isolating oneself, etc, it’s done out of that need to kind of escape feeling basically. And by experiential avoidance, we mean just this regular kind of cyclical pattern of behaviour, where someone is literally stuck in a pattern of trying to avoid feeling they’re feeling, it may not make immediate intuitive sense with regards to depression. But that is a common problem with depression, is people tend to nap and they want to sleep away their feelings, or they tend to overeat, or they tend to isolate all in an effort to avoid feeling that kind of raw emotional experience that is said. So that is shame. So it’s a very highly predictive problem when it comes to these disorders. Or if you’re not willing to feel your feelings, unfortunately, then you’re going to be stuck, you’re gonna be kind of furthering yourself into the trap, that is depression or furthering yourself into the trap. That is anxiety too. So that’s why this idea of willingness is super, super important act, if you can increase your willingness, which is a decision you make, you can be willing to do things with sadness, present with shame present with vulnerability present, it’s no fun to have to do that. Right? It requires good distress tolerance on anyone’s part. But you can do that that’s a decision that you can make any day anytime. And if you increase your willingness, then the way you relate to anxiety or depression, or urges to use substances will be different in you can enable flexible responding or for have a key idea.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  36:32

Yes. The question comes to my mind here is when someone is in that state of depression, let’s use depression as the example here. How do they navigate willingness? Do you have to repair or help them with the depression first, before they can make that decision that they are going to be willing?

Dr David Juncos  37:00

That’s a very good question. And from an act perspective, no, not necessarily. You can make progress. As soon as you work on willingness and you can work on willingness today, if you want. It just takes the willingness to do that kind of work. Sadly, the cure for depression is the last thing that someone feels like doing to have the willingness to get up and engage further in the world and to engage fully and seek pleasurable experiences. But it’s so it’s so helpful. It’s so healing, that’s the cure for depression. And you know, something as a disorder, when the cure is out of reach for the cure is just too hard for someone to do that. For example, panic attacks, disorder. When someone has regular panic attacks, the cure, the way to heal is to be okay with having a panic attack. But that’s the last thing someone with panic attacks wants to do. Yes, because depression, these other disorders are very insidious like that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  37:53

Yes. But as a society, we tend to say, Oh, you’ll be fine. Yeah, you know, just don’t worry about it. We’re told to mask things. We’re told, No one says to us. Oh, that’s okay. We’ll feel sad. This, it’s the opposite. We’re told the opposite. And yet, like what I’ve learned, and I’m so grateful for this podcast, because I’ve actually learned so much about all this stuff. And one thing that I’ve learned is about acknowledgement is saying to someone, you know, what, you have a right to acknowledge those feelings. It’s okay to own them. As opposed to going key here. You’ll be fine. You know, like, do something to distract yourself. Keep yourself busy. 

Dr David Juncos  38:46

Yeah, exactly. It has like a dismissive kind of tone. You know, yeah, you’ll be fine. I’ll leave you, basically, huh? Yeah. To go on, I’m happy to hear that this is helpful information. That’s awesome. Act is a very well researched model. So any chance I get to disseminate info about it, that’s great. Not only is the engine that drives the disorder, the same but the cure is very similar across disorders here. So for depression, in particular, yes, learning to relate, learning to relate to it, so it’s more neutral. And being like less, taking it less personally, essentially, I know that sounds like a lot easier said than done, obviously. But there’s a process with an act where you learn to be the space in which depression exists, rather than being the depression and you kind of just take it around with you you know, like you consider a kind of like a friend of yours that you don’t really like and you’re having a party and you want to avoid inviting that one friend who’s kind of smelly and his name is you know, Joe the bum and He’s weird. And you know, when you have a party he’s gonna show up you’re just gonna like stick it up and you don’t really want him there but willingness will enable you to still have that party so just be willing to have the party with Joe the bums sitting in the couch, you know, sticking up To join basically, and depression like that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  40:05

Because you can hide the party. Yeah, because you kind of that there’s a little bit of a buffer there too, because you’re not making it a part of your identity, it’s there. But it’s not, it doesn’t define who you are as a person.

Dr David Juncos  40:23

Exactly. Even though your mind will convince you, your mind will tell you that this is you that this is your fault, but that’s shame. And it’s good to T shame apart from depression you have like the pure kind of emotion of you know, sadness and a low mood, but then you have your mind telling you, shame on you, your fault here, you know, compare yourself to other people, they have way better than you do, you know, they have their life figured out you don’t etc, that shame and diffusion in particular, which is an act skill, as well as compassion, focus therapy, they have specific skills for managing shame based thinking. And one of the the tried and true methods is to not take it as personally just view yourself the space as the space in which shame exists. view yourself as the space in which shame based self critical thinking exists, just be yourself is like the observer and the container of all this stuff, rather than viewing yourself as it essentially Yes.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  41:14

But that shame that comes from society, too, because we’ve been raised. And we are surrounded by people who throw shame at having some sort of issue going on. In terms of mental health. That’s, I think we all have to change our outlook, everyone needs to have more empathy, and it comes back to that empathy, doesn’t it. And to realise it can happen to anyone, we’re all vulnerable.

Dr David Juncos  41:46

This is so true. And it’s especially true with performance anxiety. And I’m happy to share that the second singing singing teacher that I supervise. Her study, by the way, is about to be published in frontiers in psychology literally any day now. And it’s due to be published soon, she worked with six performing arts students who had vocal performance anxiety, and she incorporated self compassion work. And she incorporated this idea of managing shame in there. And that’s really helped by coming together and bonding with people that also have anxiety, and not feeling like you need to hide that part of yourself away from your, you know, professors or your peers. And interestingly, she got better reductions of shame in her study than I did. And I’m a clinical psychologist Chiba, we should have known better. But that’s really powerful, though. And the remedy, therefore, for shame, as it relates to performance anxiety is to find people that are like you, if you can, and use this as a way to link yourself to them rather than as a reason to hide yourself from them. And you’ll soon realise, oh, yeah, that’s just built into the conservatory training experience or the you know, the musical theatre training experience, not my fault. And that kind of Bond’s you to other people, which is very healing, which like kind of underused, the harmful impact of shame, or,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  43:02

Yes, I’d like to move along and talk about some of these substance, addictions and misuse of substance. So what kind of addictions Do you treat in your clinic?

Dr David Juncos  43:22

I don’t treat as much as I used to, because I’m in outpatient private practice now. And I occasionally get folks with alcohol abuse problems. I occasionally get folks with, you know, stimulants like cocaine or meth. But I used to work. I’ve worked in a lot of different drug treatment centres, I’ve worked in three in particular, so you name it in a drug treatment centre, in particular, inpatient, or intensive outpatient. It’s any kind of drug or alcohol problem under the sun. So I have a lot of experience in treating a variety of substance abuse disorders and clients with substance abusing disorders. Musicians in particular, they are vulnerable to that kind of problem. And I hate to sound like a broken record. We have personalities. Yeah, there’s there’s that. But another way of explaining that might be due to avoidance and willingness. Because if you remember from previously, we talked about avoidance being the engine that drives sort of well think of think of this, let’s relate this to substance abuse. Now. If you’re not willing to have a craving to drink or a craving to get high. Whenever comes up, you’re probably going to be like, oh, man, I can’t feel this way. I got it. Just give me give me a drink right now. I got to get rid. Right? Yes. But if you’re willing to have it, then all of a sudden, the way you relate to it is different. And therefore the way you respond to it, it’s more flexible. You can just I’m in the middle of a craving to get high right now. And I’m the space in which the craving exists. It’s not me, just its host right now you know what I mean? And it’ll pass eventually. But that takes willingness to build that kind of neutral relationship with your stuff there. So you can see there’s like cross disorder and cross problem similarities with the approach

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:02

here? Yes? Is one addiction harder to treat than another?

Dr David Juncos  45:09

Yes. It depends on the level of impairment, I would say. So unfortunately, you reach a point with someone that maybe abstinence or a healthier outcome like that might not be possible. And harm reduction might instead, yeah, harm reduction is, is an evidence based treatment outcome with some people, you just want to make sure if they wanted to get high, if they’re a heroin IV user, for example, just make sure their needles are clean, make sure you know they’re doing it in a safe environment. So that way, they’re not potentially passing out and getting hurt or something like that. So Oh, my God. Yeah, I would say, when you reach that point with someone, it’s it’s unfortunate because you know, you as a practitioner would want to get them off the drug, but you have to meet someone where they’re at. So you don’t want to stop if they’re not ready to stop. And what can you do about it? You know,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  45:56

what’s the difference between misuse and addiction? And when does it become an addiction? Let’s start with alcohol. Because that’s an that’s probably one that we probably can cross the line as a community.

Dr David Juncos  46:14

so yeah, as a psychologist, obviously, I have training in identifying signs and symptoms of disorder, as well as evaluating diagnosing for music features, or other non clinical professionals. I wouldn’t expect one to, to like fully evaluate or diagnose. But you can learn how I do it. And hopefully that’ll be helpful. So for an alcohol abuse problem, there’s a variety of ways to assess for that there’s a four question screener that is very well validated, it’s called the cage the CAG. Each one of those stands for a specific problem The C stands for, have you ever wanted to cut down on your drinking? They say yes to that, then you proceed. The A stands for Have you ever felt annoyed? If someone criticises you for your drinking or your drinking? They say yes to that you proceed. The G stands for Have you ever had a feeling of guilt related to your drinking?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  47:04

Oh my gosh, say

Dr David Juncos  47:05

If they say yes to that, then

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  47:06

This is incredible. Yes.

Dr David Juncos  47:09

And then E stands for? Have you ever had an eye opening experience related to your drinking, in particular, drinking to get rid of a hangover drinking just steady nerves due to detoxing from alcohol. So that’s the E, which stands for an eye opening experience. And again, you wouldn’t be able use this in your practice because this is for clinicians. But but it’s how it’s it’s how we screen people in or screening people out for a potential outcome problem. And the designers that are questionnaire recommend that if you have two yeses, or more than that suggestive of an alcohol abuse problem.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  47:43

Okay. So it’s not about the number of drinks, how often they drink? Or do they think about alcohol when they first wake up? Or making or drinking till there’s no alcohol left in the house? None of those things?

Dr David Juncos  47:59

No, those are important too. And those would weigh in on the diagnosis of alcohol dependence versus abuse versus something more milder. What that is useful for is screening people in who may need further evaluation, basically. And then in the further evaluation, you would administer a more standard kind of interview to figure out okay, do you have signs of physiological dependence? Are you craving it? Are you withdrawing, you’re not using etc. As well as signs of abuse, like using when you know, it wouldn’t be smart driving, while drinking and etc. Using when it impairs your relationships or impairs your job, etc? These are signs of abuse here, usually more than you intended to,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  48:39

etc. Yes. And there was a question that came to mind. What about binge drinking, as opposed to addiction? Or is that a form of addiction as well?

Dr David Juncos  48:53

Sure, yeah. You can meet a lot of the criteria for substance abuse, possibly even for dependents, even if you’re bingeing. It depends on it depends on the level of impairment. When someone is diagnosed with abuse, it has occupational or relationship or academic impairment, it based on financial impairment, it really is like getting in your way, basically. So even if you’re just kind of a weekend warrior, you don’t I mean, it’s certainly possible that the after effects of your drinking are gonna bleed into your relationships, you’re gonna bleed into your job performance, you know, you might not be showing up to work on Monday or Tuesday or something like that. So, if that’s how you mean by bingeing?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:32

Yes. Or bingeing, I suppose is for Yeah, people may just hit the alcohol on the weekend, but Monday to Friday, don’t drink but then on the weekend, absolutely. Smash the Hell call. Yeah,

Dr David Juncos  49:45

right. Right. Yeah.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  49:47

How do we?

Dr David Juncos  49:48

So they should be evaluated for for disorder and the screening tool, again, is just a quick and easy way to screen and screen out someone for further evaluation. Can we do that? Not to say, no, no, you can’t do that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  50:00

How do we then know that someone that is close to us is doesn’t have a problem? Or does have a problem?

Dr David Juncos  50:09

That’s where Mental Health First Aid training is enormously useful. And I assume you have that. I think you do have that in Australia.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  50:16

Yeah, yes, I’m pretty sure you we do. Yeah.

Dr David Juncos  50:19

It doesn’t just include mental health disorders include substance abuse disorders do. So if you get that training, then you’re better equipped to handle conversations related to drinking, you’re better equipped to identify signs and symptoms of substance abuse or other mental health problems. And you’re more knowledgeable of like referral channels, as well as self help resources available, depending on the problem. So I would err on the side of just getting trained in that because it makes you a lot more confident in your work. It makes you better able to handle these conversations and to know what to do essentially to help someone.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  50:53

Yes, that’s and you can google

Dr David Juncos  50:54

Mental Health First day training to figure out where the local training programmes are for. I’m 99%. Sure it’s in Australia.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:03

It is it is. And I mean, in our community, a lot of people drink even before they go on stage. It’s just like to calm the nerves. Oh, yeah. Big thing. Oh, yeah. Oh, hitting. And I toured in a rock band. And we always had a rider. You know, the boys would order scotch and all these other things. It was a and in Australia, there’s a big culture around drinking.

Dr David Juncos  51:30

Sure. In the US, too. And many other countries? Yes. Especially in rock bands. Yeah. You’re right about that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:36

Yes. And when it comes to drug use, is there a particular drug that’s more prevalent than others?

Dr David Juncos  51:48

among musicians? Are you asking? Yeah,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  51:50

okay, let’s talk about musicians, then? Well,

Dr David Juncos  51:53

I think more specifically, it depends on are they using it to control performance anxiety, if that’s the case, then beta blockers is probably the go to drug for most people there. And what beta blockers? beta blocker is, it’s a drug that is often prescribed for people with high blood pressure that kind of brings your level of arousal down. And it’s very good at treating the physiological symptoms of anxiety, like, you know, shaky hands and whatnot. But for that reason, it’s not for everybody that put it that way. Beta blockers are drugs. So they prevent you from kind of moving from first year to like, you know, second or third year and kind of exerting more energy all of a sudden. So if you have to go from like, you know, piano to fortissimo in a second, a beta blocker is going to prevent you from shifting gears like that. So you’re just stuck in like a lower kind of sedated first gear, essentially. So they’re useful if you really, you know, have a shaky bow. And for example, if you’re a violinist, you really want to like stop feeling so shaky. They work in that regard, but they make you kind of like, less alert, kind of dull. If you take too many of them.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  52:59

Is it almost like you’re here, but you’re thinking back here that your separate?

Dr David Juncos  53:05

Take? If you take too much them? They’re pretty mild drug? But certainly, if you’re taking a higher dose, then yeah, absolutely. You’re going to be like, not fully present with what you’re doing. You’re

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  53:14

they addictive?

Dr David Juncos  53:17

I would think so. Yeah. I mean, they calm the nerves, and anything that works like that, in the short run is potentially addictive.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  53:25

And, okay, and when it comes to drug misuse, do people usually start with a recreational drugs such as marijuana then build their way up to something stronger, such as cocaine or whatever else? I don’t know what else there is. But do they usually start with something a little less problematic?

Dr David Juncos  53:50

Yeah, I do believe in that idea of the gateway drug phenomenon. It’s hard to say if it’s always pot though, because some people they might start heavier, they might start with alcohol, they might start with like, you know, booze or something like that. It depends on the role models and that person’s life. So if you come from a family where many people drink you come from a community or a block, or many people drink, regardless of your age, you’re gonna you’re going to pick it up eventually, it’s gonna be

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  54:18

really, so is that why sometimes people say or alcoholism is, is genetic? Is that more the observing the behaviour rather than it being in your genes?

Dr David Juncos  54:32

It’s a little common, a little Combi, to be honest. It’s hard to say addiction is just purely a biological disease. It’s also a behavioural problem. It’s also a psychological disorder. According to a 12 step. It’s a spiritual, you know, void or like a lack of spirituality or something like that. So it depends on who you ask how it’s defined, but I’m of the opinion that it’s, it’s kind of all the above.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  54:58

Yes, and What are the implications of drug misuse in terms of mental and physical and emotional issues?

Dr David Juncos  55:10

Well, you’re going to have an increased level of impairment, you know, certain mental health problems, we talked about depression earlier, substance abuse is clearly one of the ones that’s going to be very impairing for you, meaning like, your behaviour is getting in your own way, you know, if you’re drinking too much, then you’re not gonna be able to get up and go to class, you know, you might potentially fail class, you might have to repeat a class you might not graduate. So, impairment means whether it’s occupational or academic or relationship, through your behaviour, it’s, it’s creating problems for you objectively, that we can all collectively agree upon, and we look at your behaviour over time, we see that you’re not able to do the things you want to do. Whereas, anxiety, I keep coming back to that, because that’s important. Anxiety is not necessarily impairing, some people would argue it’s facilitating to have anxiety don’t turn to performance, it’s like drinking a cup of coffee. You know, you just have like, more energy to put into the performance there I’m so it’s rare to find someone who’s, it’s rare to find someone who’s impaired, objectively, like collectively agreed that they their anxiety and their behaviour to cope with it is getting in that person’s way. That usually happens with more severe problems like depression, or substance abuse,

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  56:16

I call it nervous energy, like before performance, I always have those nerves, I’m running to the bathroom. But I kind of I like that, because I feel it gives me an edge in performance, I feel like I have way more energy, I find all the high notes are so much easier to sing. Okay, you know, like, I just find, if anything, I find having a little bit of that nervous. Those nerves running through me actually help a performance rather than impair my performance.

Dr David Juncos  56:49

So you are in a good relationship with your anxiety then. And a good relationship with anxiety you no one on this side of the spectrum is most of that side is marked by lack of avoidance Do you it’s marked by approach paper, meaning you’re drawn towards things that kind of make you feel that way? You’re not going to say no to those gigs. Because for you, it’s excitement. It’s not dreadful or anxiety, it’s excited.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  57:11

But it’s also after the performance. And that feeling of achievement and accomplishment. Whether it’s the performance, or even presenting at a conference, or even interviewing someone on this podcast, I always have a little bit of, you know, want to do my best here. And then afterwards you go, Ah, I actually did that, that wow. Yeah, no, yeah. And I suppose that comes back to what you were talking about feeling those feelings,

Dr David Juncos  57:42

the willingness to feel those feelings. When you have that willingness, it’s such a central part of Act and not just that many behavioural therapies. If you can train yourself to be more willing, then you’re going to be a lot more flexible, when anxious. But if you’re not willing, then there’s like one thing you know how to do when anxious and that’s a boy. That’s the only behaviour you have, well, anxious willingness comes like an addition of two or three or four or five or six, seven additional behavioural responses on top of that.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  58:10

There’s so many things that I could just keep talking to you about. Just a couple more things. In terms of people with drug addiction with alcohol addiction, what are the what are the percentages of success of helping those people overcome their addictions? Are they one, is there a success rate? And too? Are they likely to regress at some time have a setback?

Dr David Juncos  58:44

Yes. Yes to your second question that unfortunately, relapse is part of the change continuing. So it’s very difficult for someone to recover fully from an addiction the first time it’s it’s a skill, the skill of recovery and like any skill building, it’s just going to take you to several goals at it right to get it right. Unfortunately, that means the potential of you know, like really harmful consequences. Someone who’s abusing heroin or abusing, you know, really heavily, alcohol really heavily. This is x rayed successfully, I don’t know off the top of my head. Some people floated 10% When I was back in working in rehab, some people floated less than that. I’m inclined to believe that, unfortunately, but it depends on how you define success. If you define success is fully recovered. For a minimum of I don’t know, six months, then I think it would be larger than 10%. But it really depends on your measurement success there. Just know that relapse is part of the process and not getting better is unfortunately just part of the game. If you’re working as a substance abuse counsellor, you can expect your clients are just not going to get better yet. However, I’ll add a little tidbit of wisdom here to bring in shame. There is a very good psychologist, Alan Marla Of course. he’s deceased, he was a Canadian psychologist who was able to predict very accurately who would go on to have a full blown relapse after having a small little lapse or slip up. And unfortunately, it was the people with a lot of shame. It was the people who would kind of beat themselves up for having that slip up. And therefore, they get very, like stuck in their head. Because shame, as you talked about, it is a very internal kind of, you know, in your head sort of experience. It’s very difficult to learn properly when absorbed and shame based thinking. So the addict may not realise, well, of course, I relapsed because I hung out with my dealer, and I shouldn’t hang out with my dealer and they wouldn’t have that kind of wherewithal, they would just be like, Oh, I shame on me, I can’t get this right. I’m an addict, I’m always gonna be messing things up. And I might as well just just go have another drink or grab another product, etc. So, so shame is predictive of relapse for certain types of people, unfortunately, yes, it’s

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:00:53

hard to because I’m assuming if, for example, if you have a drug addiction, and you’d have to be aware of things that he contained, even in prescription drugs, yeah, you’d have to be careful of those. And then if you’re an alcoholic, sometimes this alcohol, like, if you’re eating a particular French dish, that there may be red wine in that or you have worse, or you have a pudding that may have brandy in it. Like there’s certain things, then

Dr David Juncos  1:01:32

or mouthwash with antiseptic alcohol.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:01:34

Oh, my gosh, I didn’t think of that one. Wow, yeah. So there are so many things that then it becomes your life to be aware of all this stuff. If you don’t want to have a relapse.

Dr David Juncos  1:01:48

It’s hard. Let’s face it, getting getting clean from any kind of addiction. Certainly, alcohol addiction is not easy to do, which makes it make more sense that you’d expect to relapse or expectedly slip up from time to time. And I want to highlight that it is a skill. So like any skill as a music teacher, you know, what what understand when teaching technique, or teaching kind of skills like that, you can expect that the person is not going to get it right first time. And if they shame themselves for not getting it right, then unfortunately, that’s worse for them. That’s more predictive of not getting it right.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:02:20

Yes, yes. Okay. Well, we’re going to going to start wrapping this up. Just have a final few questions you want? Do you think we can do better as a voice teaching community to serve our students that are that are suffering from whether it’s anxiety, performance anxiety, what can we do to help?

Dr David Juncos  1:02:44

So the the fastest thing you can do is to sign up for a Mental Health First Aid training? Absolutely. And if you’re not sure, if it’s available within your country, then just Google it and see if it is it’s available in most countries. And I don’t know if you can do it, kind of like across country lines, but I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do something like that. That’ll help you target a garden variety and mental problems, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, etc, and just know how to make referrals there. However, with the new new research that I’m doing in this training package that I will be offering soon, again, I want teachers to not just make referrals, I want them to actually make interventions and do coaching work with students from society. So I think that is a is a highly intuitive answer to an age old problem there. So you can check out my webpage for For more information about training opportunities, by my book act for musicians calm, and it’s not quite up yet. I’m still putting the finishing touches on it for now. But it will be up by the summer when my book is released them. So yes, for specific trainings on doing act with music, students who have performance anxiety, you can certainly contact me I’m able to provide that country to you or to university that you work at.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:03:55

And we’re going to be sharing all your links in the show notes. So people, anything and everything you want us to share in terms of your website, in terms of where to find your book, your workshops, where they can find you contact you, we’ll put all of that up in the show notes, no problems. And hopefully we’ll have people buying your book too, because that sounds incredibly

Dr David Juncos  1:04:19

That would be nice. When it comes to treating students mental health related problems or performance anxiety, get training? Absolutely. You have to have the skill set to know what you’re doing here. Just like any kind of profession, obviously any profession with continuous professional development courses available. So get training and if you yourself are suffering, you know, with any kind of mental health problems and get help, because let’s face it, you know, the pandemic was brutal on singing teachers on music. Musicians at large. Yeah, World of life. Yes. If you’re suffering with any kind of mental health problems yourself and think it helped to please

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:04:56

Yes. And I want to reiterate here too. that often. And I said this before often we as singing teachers, we are frontline workers, as we create a safe space for our voices for our students to be heard. And they may be using their voices in song, but as they start to free their voices that stand and speak up as well. And often they’ll share information with us that they may not share with anyone else. And I’ve actually experienced that numerous times where I’ve had to go and report an incident or something that someone has shared with me because

Dr David Juncos  1:05:36

it was secret feeling so comfortable in the moment.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:05:39

Yes, but but also to the information that they shared was a worry. Sometimes you have to ask another question or two, to to decide whether do I report this? Or is this nothing? So there is kind of knowing that fine line between? I can’t ask another question here. I’m not a therapist, but also to acknowledging that you someone is sharing with you and you are in a situation that you may prevent something from happening. It’s a bit of a worry, actually,

Dr David Juncos  1:06:18

it Yeah, I could see that, you know, you may not feel adequately equipped to handle the response, you know, you may worry that you’re not responding properly, or something like that. So, Mental Health First Aid training, absolutely, I would highly recommend signing up. I am signing out. It’s, it’s, it’s gonna make you and anyone who signs up for a more confident in handling these kinds of conversations. Yes.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:06:39

Well, David, thank you so much. You’ve been it was a pleasure, so much information, there’s so so much to unpack and very, very interesting. And I hope that everyone takes something away from this episode, because it’s such an important topic that we’ve discussed when it comes to mental health issues, and addictions and anxiety, around performance or in life in general. So I hope everyone listens to this, and they learn something by it. And I want to thank you for your time. I appreciate you. And look forward to hopefully speaking to you again sometime in the future, the very best with your book.

Dr David Juncos  1:07:28

Thank you so much. Reza, thank you again for having me. Congratulations on your book being published. That’s excellent. is yes. And perhaps one day at the next voice foundations symposium, we will bump into each other soon there.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:07:41

Yes. And that your family gathering? 

Dr David Juncos  1:07:44

Yeah, right, right.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:07:45

Yes, I can do it virtually. I can eat meat. Yeah, I can do have my

Dr David Juncos  1:07:53

we can get a mediator through zoom. I wouldn’t be opposed to that. Just now. Well, we’ll pay you in food eventually.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:08:00

That’s how I’m up for that. All right. Thank you so much, Dave. 

Dr David Juncos  1:08:05

Alright, thanks again. Bye, talk soon. Bye.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  1:08:11

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of a voice and beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth, and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow, so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best live. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you would like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway? Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of a voice and beyond.

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