Exercise

Exercise

by Jon Carlson, Kate F. Hays
     
 

The intersection of exercise and mental health provides an opportunity for clinicians to understand and use the "body-mind" connection in various ways. A strong research base confirms the numerous benefits of physical activity in addressing emotional problems. Thus, the recommendation of exercise can provide an important adjunct to psychotherapy. Exercise

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Overview

The intersection of exercise and mental health provides an opportunity for clinicians to understand and use the "body-mind" connection in various ways. A strong research base confirms the numerous benefits of physical activity in addressing emotional problems. Thus, the recommendation of exercise can provide an important adjunct to psychotherapy. Exercise prescription is atheoretical. The particular approach that I use takes into account issues of motivation, personal exercise history, types of exercise, social and gender issues, and supports for and barriers to change as they are known by and expressed in a particular client. The transtheoretical model provides a framework for understanding clients' levels of readiness for change. A spirit of collaborative empiricism supports incremental change and client self-efficacy. The initial interview serves a number of functions: the establishment of empathic connection, a preliminary understanding of the client's presenting issues, the induction of hope, and some concrete and direct suggestions, framed as mini-experiments that engage the client's curiosity. An educational component provides tools that the client can use. The therapist's use of writing during the interview-providing information, methods, and homework suggestions-models the value of record-keeping, adds to the client's level of commitment, presents a reference point, provides a different modality for understanding information, and gives a tangible effect and reminder of the interview. Exercise is a direct, concrete, and behaviorally obvious and measurable activity. The recommendation of exercise, and specifically-tailored suggestions about exercise, can be used as a means to symptom resolution (e.g., decreased depression), a mediated method of change (e.g., increased self-esteem and mastery), and an example or metaphor for other types of change.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557989628
Publisher:
American Psychological Association
Publication date:
01/28/2003

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