Getting Off the Couch: Psychotherapists Who Have Incorporated Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Into Their Practice

  • Author / Creator
    Calhoon, Kellsey D
  • Twenty percent of Canadians are affected by mental illness (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2011). Mental illness can be positively impacted by Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLCs). TLCs include such things as exercise, diet, recreation, sleep, sunlight exposure, interpersonal relationships, spiritual involvement, and stress management (Ilardi, 2009; Walsh, 2011). TLCs offer greater accessibility and affordability, fewer side effects, and less social stigma than traditional methods of mental healthcare (Walsh, 2011). However, despite the positive research, TLCs are underutilized by psychologists (Walsh, 2011). Five psychologists who use TLCs in their practices answered semi-structured interview questions such as, “What inspired you to begin using TLCs in your practice?”, “How did you learn to effectively use TLCs with clients?” and “What challenges have you faced incorporating TLCs?” Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009) was used to identify intra-individual and inter-individual themes. Themes identified related to therapist congruency, developing competency and recognizing limits, finding what fits for the client, drawing on therapist skills, looking at the whole picture, and addressing and removing barriers. These findings help explain how psychologists are able to incorporate TLC into existing therapies, and how other psychologists can obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to use TLCs.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.