Monday, July 26, 2010

Combining Therapy with Nature and Activity

Is therapy limited to the hospital or office? The answer is no. Even as early as the 1800s, Dr. Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, walked with his therapy patients in the streets of Vienna. As part of his method, Dr. Freud would even take the patients to his vacation! This was the finding of Jacques Barber, associate director of the Center for Psychotherapy Research at the University of Pennsylvannia School of Medicine. Today, some would even be sent to rural retreats where patients chop wood, do gardening, or stroll with the doctors... A 2005 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that exercise increases the growth of neuronal brain cells, possibly elevating mood permanently. Advocates of the combined approach say that being active during the therapy session helps patients to relax and open up. Some patients find it easier to talk while looking forward and walking, rather than staring the therapist in the eye!

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