ERIC Number: ED327762
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug-12
Reflections on Psychotherapy and Aerobic Exercise.
This document provides a series of reflections by a practicing psychologist on the uses of aerobic workouts in psychotherapy. Two case histories are cited to illustrate the contention that the mode of exercise, rather than simply its presence or absence, is the significant indicator of a patient's emotional well-being or psychopathology. The first case illustrates the abuse of physical exercise through a bulimic patient who alternately gorged on food and then absolved herself by spending hours every day at a health club, exercising and jogging to keep her weight down. In this case, exercise was seen as a reflection of the client's emotional disorder rather than a solution. The counterexample is of an overweight client with chronic depression for whom exercise was a marker of psychological adjustment, along with work habits, sexual habits, and eating and drinking habits. It was concluded that depending on the context, aerobic exercise such as jogging can be either a compulsion, indicative of the problem itself, or a successful therapeutic intervention to enhance physical health and emotional well-being. (TE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (98th, Boston, MA, August 10-14, 1990).