According to the Money And Mental Health Policy Institute1, financial difficulties cause stress and anxiety. Furthermore, a 2018 study by Northwestern Mutual2 found that 4 in 10 Americans cited money as the dominant source of stress in their lives. At Overman Capital, we pride ourselves on helping clients address and overcome the financial worries they have. By giving them more confidence about their financial futures, we aim to improve their overall financial wellness. Additionally, we also like to share ideas on wellness that may fall outside the realm of traditional financial planning. Enter Mountain Bike Therapy.
If you know Rob and me, you know we enjoy getting on our bikes as much as possible. For us, biking is a great way to see our county and state, ride with new and old friends, and get some much-needed exercise. We have always known about the physical benefits of biking but we weren't as knowledgeable about the incredible mental benefits it can have. Lucky for us, one of our dear friends, Sara Mitchell Hunter, is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Professional Mountain Bike Instructor. She offers Mountain Bike Therapy, in addition to more typical office-based therapy, as part of her counseling services. So, we asked her to educate us on the tremendous mental health benefits of biking.
Outdoor adventure changed my life. I believe in the power of facing challenge at the right pace and that putting ourselves in vulnerable situations helps us build confidence, resilience, and expands our ability to work with stress and fear. I started my private mental health counseling practice, Sara Hunter Counseling, in September of 2018 and am so excited to be offering Mountain Bike Therapy services. Mountain biking has been a powerful tool for my own mental and physical health and a consistent source of joy and challenge.
What Is Mountain Bike Therapy?
I use MTB therapy in conjunction with more typical office-based therapy sessions in order to help clients who are struggling with trauma and stress-related issues such as PTSD and anxiety. Getting outside, shifting your relationship with your body after trauma, learning something new and challenging, and learning new ways to work through stress and fear are all part of the process. I design outdoor sessions to be healing but they are also just plain fun.
What Do We Do In These Sessions?
- Learn foundational mountain biking skills and progress to more advanced techniques throughout the duration of treatment.
- Practice mindfulness by being in the moment and responding to the trail and features that are right in front of you.
- Practice grounding in order to calm the central nervous system when feeling fearful or stuck in the threat response of fight, flight, freeze, or fawn.
- Use nature as a metaphor for healing through ecotherapy techniques.
- Improve sense of self-worth and self-efficacy by progressing on the bike
- Become more present in your daily life.
- Reduce anxiety and depression (aerobic exercise has been proven to reduce these mental health concerns).
- Improve self-esteem.
- Learn new ways of coping with fear, stress, and anxiety.
- Experience more joy.
- Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC)
- Professional Mountain Bike Instructor (PMBIA Level 1)
- Specialized USA Ambassador
- Ride Leader for Motion Maker's Women's Group Ride
- Blue Ridge Dirt Skrrts Board Member
- Wilderness First Responder
- Visit Sara Hunter Counseling to learn more about Sara and her counseling.