In this issue
Lasting the course
Training as a therapist can seriously threaten your relationship with your partner, as Rosemary Cowan discovered.
Humming in Maori
Jeannie Wright describes the practical, ethical and emotional challenges of working transculturally in non-European settings.
Sexuality in a market society
What happens when Relate gets into bed with Ann Summers? Manu Bazzano discusses sex as commodity.
From nightmare to memories
EMDR is now an established treatment for PTSD. Robin Logie reviews its application with other trauma-related conditions.
The joy of exercise
Physical activity is good for your mental health; physical activity in natural green spaces is even better. Catherine Jackson reports.
Sam Jenkins: Sacked by market forces
In the client’s chair
Caitin Wishart: Just me, without the elephant
Marc Brammer: And now, the end is near
Rachel Freeth: Beyond the medical model
Edward Sallis OBE
When two roles are too many
Day in the life
Denis Bruce: Desperately seeking safety
From the chair
Amanda Hawkins: Do we need to get out more?
I have never needed research to convince me of the psychological benefits of being active in natural environments. I hesitate to use the word ‘exercise’ because it sounds like something else we are supposed to do. I prefer to think of it as freedom – to be ourselves, to move around naturally. For me, going for a walk in a wood, off the beaten track, or climbing a mountain is an essential escape from the ever-increasing pressures of communications and the commercial and corporate environments I find myself in.
Our news feature reports on new research that has confirmed the benefits to our mental health of certain types and amounts of exercise in certain environments – notably, natural ones. Over the past decade Therapy Today has published a great deal of therapists’ work on, for example, ecotherapy and adventure therapy, which pre-empts this discovery. The thought of GPs actually prescribing exercise in green spaces seems somehow ludicrous – a bit like prescribing having a drink of water or going to sleep, as if we have all forgotten how to live.
It is interesting, though, to learn about how attentional and cognitive deficits can be restored by exposure to nature, and how this is being used to create restorative virtual environments that may be able to help people with dementia and others with restricted mobility. Interesting also to think about the benefits of walking and its effects on the brain in terms of creativity. Walking was, of course, instrumental in the discovery of EMDR, which we also feature in this issue. It was the bilateral eye movements as Francine Shapiro was walking that seemed to calm her when she thought about her cancer diagnosis. I have almost forgotten to mention the Olympics, which is why we decided to feature exercise in the first place: the message from the Government is don’t sit watching the TV and eating crisps – ‘Get out there’!