Book review: Hamlet’s Mirror

This fascinating new book from psychotherapist Elma Linz Kanefield takes over thirty years of professional practice to offer a self-help text to performers (actors, dancers, musicians and vocal artists).

With a host of reflective exercises and key case studies, Hamlet’s Mirror invites you to take a deep look inside your personality traits for good or bad, in order to tackle any problems within your career.

For Kanefield, it is about profiling the personality and understanding what motivates it. She has created a number of useful tools which you can use to build a plan of action, while recognising what drives you personally.

Written in an inclusive, accessible and interactive style, Hamlet’s Mirror gives you the tools to gain confidence and acknowledge any destructive behaviours which may be holding you back.

Showing a real understanding and empathy of her typical clientele, Kanefield recounts her own journey from performer to therapist, noting how each new encounter brings a richness into her life.

I found the exercises very useful to deal with some of my own issues of self-doubt (as a naturally anxious person it is hard to accept success or praise without looking for a ‘catch’).

For those whose energies are completely entwined with exposing their insecurities while hiding their real selves, the personality questionnaires should be very helpful.

Hamlet’s Mirror is a book one can read straight through at one sitting, return to piecemeal, or work through sequentially as the need arises. It is a friendly and supportive text which gently guides its reader through any difficult moments.

I recommend this to anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of their own practice and what sits behind it. Slim enough to carry around, detailed enough to be a useful checklist for trouble.

Hamlet’s Mirror by Elsa Linz Kanefield is available now in various formats.