Q: What is therapy?
A: Therapy is a process in which you explore your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and past/present/future experiences and relationships. Sometimes it is focused on a particular issue (i.e. anxiety or depressive related symptoms), other times it is focused more broadly on themes like lifestyle, relationships, and family. Therapy should be a safe place to work on troubling symptoms/experiences and life goals.
Q: What is the therapist's role?
A: It is my job to listen, empathize, guide, and provide insight into your particular circumstances/experiences. When appropriate I will provide guiding or corrective interventions. I believe it is important to develop a collaborative treatment plan, which acts like a road map to accomplishing your goals. I will do my best to link you to outside resources on an as needed basis.
Q: What is expected of me as the client?
A: It is your job to show up, provide content, and to be willing to make changes and take steps outside of therapy to solidify lasting change.
Q: What is your counseling philosophy?
A: I use a multi-modality approach to therapy. What this means, is that I borrow from many counseling theories. I adapt my approach to every individual's unique needs.
In general, I believe each person has enormous capacity to change even in the face of difficult and painful realities. I believe that we make choices everyday that reflect our innate sense of morality but also reflect what and how we assign meaning in our life.
We are learning and adaptive beings. Because of this we are able to look honestly and closely at the intricacies of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and make changes that are adaptive and healthy.
We are social beings. Because of this we can find help, motivation, and courage from our communities, families, and friends.
We are relational beings. Because of this we care about how our past, present, and future experiences impact our important relationships. These relationships help to weave together unique life stories that matter especially as we contemplate their negative and positive lasting impacts.
Q:What is running + therapy?
A. Running + therapy is both a therapy modality (the form that therapy takes) as well as an intervention (the action we take to work toward a particular goal). In every case the reason to run (or walk) may be different. For one person the emotions and memories that rise to the surface are a result of the physical effort and interaction of the body and mind (the soma), providing content to work with and through in the therapy dynamic. For others the running aids in elevating mood, or improving depressive/anxious/traumatic symptoms that the person has identified as a goal.
Running + therapy is not a diet. Although a person may see physical benefits, such as improved muscular form, weight loss or gain these are side effects that are not within the parameters of my expertise. Nor are these results that I can guarantee.
Running + therapy is a wholistic approach to therapy, considering both the body and mind in the treatment process.
Q. Why run while doing therapy?
A. Combining running (or physical exercise) with therapy is a well studied treatment combination, although not very common. It has great physical, mental, emotional, and social benefits.
Running opens the mind to a meditative, contemplative, and zen like state due to the brain chemistry that is produced during prolonged running. As running clears the mind emotional memories that are stored in the body or that are spurred by your surroundings are likely to arise. The time spent during running then provides ample opportunity to contemplate these memories, thoughts, and feelings while the brain is in this "zen like state".
Q. Why did you decide to combine running and therapy?
A. Long distance running has been a continuous part of my life for the last 20+ years, psychology and therapy for the last decade. After the birth of my second child I realized (while running) that my "dream job" was within my reach. Combining running and therapy just seems like a natural fit. The more I researched the idea, I discovered that not only is it a good idea, but it's also a well studied treatment combination.
Q. If I don't want to do therapy while running or walking, do you have more traditional options?
A. At this time, I do not. In the past I have, and the future I hope to, but for now I'm focused on only those clients interested in combining running + therapy. I will from time to time use skype-like services to meet with clients, such as for assessments, inclement weather, and on a case by case basis.
Q. Do you offer running services for people not interested in therapy?
A. Yes! If you are interested in learning to run, training for a particular race or event I am happy to provide coaching only services. Please see my services page for more details.