The Healing Power of Exercise

As a licensed psychotherapist and health coach, I understand the mental and physical healing powers of exercise.

Just like Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. Wayne Sandler, I have two treadmills in my studio. I believe in combining standard therapy sessions and exercise because research has proven that, in many cases, exercise can deal with chemical imbalances in the brain better than drugs. Exercise is the remedy for both mental and physical ills.

In fact, Carolyn Kaelin, head of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, tells her patients that physical exercise can prolong the lives of breast cancer patients and reduce the likelihood of relapses. She says exercise can truly “save your life.”

It is obvious, then, that movement should be your daily medicine.

So why doesn’t everyone take their daily dose of exercise? Because our minds prevent us from doing what we know is best for us. This is where psychotherapy becomes a useful tool for change.

Researchers studied thousands of people (Prochaska & DiClemente (1982) who were able to make positive changes in their lives and found that luck or willpower were not the determining factors. Instead, they overcame their self-defeating habits by altering their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings through a series of progressive steps. We now know that change therapy can benefit individuals in any stage of problematic behaviors, from those who don’t want to change to those who have spent years hoping to change one day.

Psychotherapy can provide an optimum environment for change, both mental and physical because the mindbody connection has been proven to be a critical element of wellbeing. A therapist can provide the guidance and assistance to encourage change, using the right strategies at the right time while providing ongoing encouragement. Therapy can enhance your self-sufficiency and self-confidence, ensuring ongoing success.

At this time of year, with New Year resolutions beginning to flounder, attempts at self-change often fail due to a lack of guidance. A cutting-edge psychotherapist who employs both psychology and exercise will help you avoid repeating past errors and becoming discouraged. Armed with an understanding of how change works and newly developed skills to help you stay consistent, you will have the best possible chance of success in reaching your mental and physical health goals.

Contact me for more information at 312-543-6682 or


Prochaska, J.O., and DiClemente, C. C. (1982). Transtheoretical therapy: Toward a more integrative model of change. Psychotherapy, 20, 161-173.