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A New Way To Look At ‘Sports Therapy’

Midweek Mental Greening

How’s this for getting out of the stuffy confines of a therapist’s office and out into the fresh air and exhilaration the outdoors and exercise offers?

According to, former tennis pro and current therapist Felix Treitler has combined his two passions – sports and helping others – to offer clients at his private practice in Arlington the chance at a different kind of therapy.

Physical activity – whether it’s sports, basic exercise, or yoga – has long been a way for many people to blow off steam after a particularly tough day, re-center themselves after a rough situation, or just plain ol’ feel better. Treitler recognizes this and he’s had experience with it himself:

“I always got a lot out of athletics where health and mood and exercise is concerned,” he said. “I am trying to see if I can use it with my clients to help them. So I combined tennis and therapy.”

However, the therapist is offering more than just time on the tennis court; he’s open to various kinds of activities. He’s also hopeful his brand of therapy will help with the evolving traditional model of therapy and break down the emotional barrier many therapists have to put up:

Treitler believed the traditional model of therapy is changing, along with the stigma associated with it. During a game, for instance, Treitler is not afraid to show his emotions — joy or frustration at winning or losing — previously a strict no-no for therapists. “You can now be your natural self with a client and don’t need to be closed off. It’s breaking down the hierarchy,” he said.

I’m intrigued with this new therapy niche of Treitler’s, and I’m actually fairly surprised more therapists haven’t started formally using it in their practices until now (well, maybe someone has and I’m just not aware of it). Treitler notes that the only problem he’s experienced so far is that not many people have heard about or experienced this blend of therapy and exercise, but he’s excited about working with student-athletes at Boston University, where people have been using a similar model, this spring.

I’m sure this kind of thing won’t appeal to everyone, but I imagine folks who prefer getting outside the office and enjoying these kinds of activities would be quite interested in Treitler’s vision.

What do you think? Would you be interested in combining therapy and sports? What are the advantages – or disadvantages – you see with it?

A New Way To Look At ‘Sports Therapy’

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2018). A New Way To Look At ‘Sports Therapy’. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
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Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 1 Apr 2009)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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