When William and a friend went through rough times, they decided to go for a run.
The running changed everything for him. It stopped William from being isolated.
Both friends experienced the healing effect of being outside and present, and of talking on the move.
William turned it into Dynamic Running Therapy to help others to feel and run better.
Using a combination of mindfulness, focused questions, and exercise, his approach has proven to be a simple, intuitive, effective, and therapeutic method for managing stress, trauma, anxiety, anger, depression, and other conditions.
William explains how we can channel our energy and use it to make positive change in our daily lives:
“Take somebody for an empathy walk and you’ll improve your relationship with that person and your general feeling in the world. You’ll see that actually everybody is the same.
If you give them a chance to talk and don’t put them in a white or black box, actually a lot of what they got to say makes sense and you’ll see they got the same concerns you got.”
“Overall, running is a great way to work your way through crisis,” William says.
“I get such a kick from showing clients who’re not runners at all what’s possible, trying new things.
Experiment with little things but get out of the rut you’re in, and then you can become that person who does these other things, including things you can’t even imagine you’re capable of doing.”
How Dynamic Running Therapy works:
William combines walking/running with traditional talk therapy. He explains:
“It replaces the static atmosphere of the therapists’ office with an outside environment rich in life, change, and possibility. Less confrontative than an office where client and therapist “face – off” to one another, with DRT the therapist joins the client side by side, sharing each step.
Most people can recall instances where walking has facilitated deep conversation. Walking /running can result in a step by step “metronomic” sense of real progress and understanding. Clients feel they are taking bodily, proactive steps towards addressing their issues. This allows them to reach deep and locate, acknowledge, and “work” through whatever they bring.
What movements are we talking about? We may sit, walk, or run. It all depends on how you feel. We will look to see if your struggles in life are enacted in how you move in the world and in the sessions. Are you housebound or out too much? Do you get ahead of yourself or hold yourself back? Do you pace yourself but can never just let go?
Together we will examine and challenge your choices, assumptions, and habits. DRT’s use of movement facilitates a flow into and through the issues that you have brought to therapy. Whether it is allowing for silence, breathing properly, or the feeling of the earth holding us as we lie, sit, or move, the aim is for a gentle “being with” whatever needs to be met, resolved, or let go of.
By combining movement with talk therapy, DRT addresses the different elements of the human “operating system”, capitalizing on the synergy found in the “mind, body, and spirit”. We have found that when people make progress in one of these areas it is often also experienced in another. DRT capitalizes on this complimentary system to facilitate a sense of momentum and growth. An example of this may be a client experiencing depression who not only enjoys the added lift provided by exercise but also experiences a sense of progress by showing up and actively addressing his/her situation. Each component compliments the other, resulting in a deep-seated and powerful sense of growth.”
William Pullen practices psychotherapy in London, UK.
He also published a book Running with Mindfulness: Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT) to Improve Low-mood, Anxiety, Stress, and Depression that explains his running therapy approach and how simple and helpful it can be.
His app is a practical tool to improve low-mood, anxiety, stress and depression.