Run for Your Life to Improve Your Mental Health

Dynamic running therapy can improve your mental health.

Posted Jun 08, 2017

Erlanger Turner, Ph.D.
Source: Erlanger Turner, Ph.D.

In his new book, Run For Your Life, William Pullen provides a self-help resource on coping with mental health issues by combining exercise and mindfulness. Pullen begins with a description about how he came to create the concept of Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT) and discloses his own personal journey of self-reflection on how “healing takes place through the process of recognizing the choices made along the journey [of life] and how it increases the understanding of the part you played.”

What is Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT)?

DRT is a step-by-step therapeutic method for confronting difficult feelings and circumstances in your life through movement. According to Pullen, DRT is less about running and more about sitting or walking while grounding yourself in the present moment. The focus of DRT seems to be focused on actively exploring your feelings about your life and identifying the changes you want. The approach combines movement (or exercise), talk therapy, and mindfulness to help individuals return to a healthy, fulfilled life. In the book, Pullen allows you to explore topics such as depression, anxiety, anger, parenting, and relationship issues. It includes exercises and activities in each section to allow you to explore your life situations. By combining mindfulness and self-guided questions, the book can be help to identify problem areas and solutions to improve your mental health.

Why is DRT helpful?

As an avid runner, I personally know the benefits of running on mental health. One of my reasons for running, outside of fitness and health, is it allows me to clear my head. By combining running with mindfulness exercises Pullen creates an active environment to work towards personal growth. In his book, Pullen states the following benefits of Dynamic Running Therapy:

  • It provides a sense of empowerment and motivation to help you become “unstuck” and confront issues instead of avoiding them.
  • It allows you to explore the causes of your difficulties underlying emotions.
  • It allows you to work towards achieving a personal goal by working through small direct target goals with each individual run or walk.

Challenges of DRT

1. It requires a lot of self-motivation.

2. It requires you to work through issues independent of a therapist. Some people may prefer more guidance processing their life.

3. Using DRT with a partner demands a willingness to be vulnerable about yourself. 

4. It may leave you with more questions rather than answers.

5. The book is not intended for individuals with a clinical mental health diagnosis.

Take a look and decide if Dynamic Running Therapy is for you! If you are experiencing significant problems or mental health concerns consider contacting a psychologist or therapist in your local area.

Additional Resources

Copyright 2017 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.

Disclaimer: This is educational information and the information in this post is not intended to be for advertisement in support of Dynamic Running Therapy. No financial obligations were offered to the author.

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