Running and Walking Therapy: Spreading like wildfire…well, one step at a time

Leave the first response April 5, 2008 / Posted in The Running Mind

On April 1st, a short article Walking the Talk Therapy by Tina Kelley talked about Karen Arthur and her offering of “Walking and Talking Psychotherapy.”

If I were to say that it was sweeping the nation like a wildfire, you know it would be an April Fool’s. In the span of 30 plus years since Tad Kostrubala wrote the Joy of Running and began to train Running and Walking Therapists, the number of people using walking and running as a tool in the process of healing Mind/Body/Spirit has increased ever so slowly. This is an endurance smoldering.

The word “Therapist” comes from the Greek verb meaning to attend or listen to. Twenty-five hundred years ago there were healing centers dedicated to the demigod of medicine and healing: Aesculapius (Greek spelling). This Wikipedia piece on Asclepius (Latin spelling) is a good starting point. You can also get a short definition from or further insights into Aesclepus at

The “theraps” in 400 BCE or 500 BCE was the person attending or listening to the needs of the individual in the healing centers who had come for healing. The “theraps”assisted the person prepare for their healing dream…that was the healing. It wasn’t the interpretation by a priest, oracle or some seer. The healing came in the dream.

I am wondering if more people have found their own healing or have become the “theraps” (ones attending or listening to individuals seeking healing) to others in such unsuspecting healing centers called: Mall Walkers, Marathon Training Groups, Team-In-Training groups, City Striders, Volks Marchers, Urban Ramblers?

Carl Jung’s statement: The mind reflects the body reflects the mind, to me means I can start with the body or with the mind; or I can work on them both at the same time. What better way to do so that to go for a long run or a long walk with a friend or friends who are traveling their own paths through life and through their endurance training.

Some of my thought are reflected in my writing: The Journey of a Running Therapist: A Sometimes Mindful Runner.

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