Marketplace: Need help? Take a walk
October 1, 2010
A therapist telling you to take a hike could be a traumatic experience, but Allison Page says it with compassion.
Some people, young and old, are not comfortable sitting down with a perfect stranger and discussing deeply personal issues. If that’s the case, Page offers a solution: walking and talking on a local trail.
She has an office in Bear Hollow Village and has years of experience working with people with difficulties. After deciding to focus her career on offering therapy, she chose to open her practice in Park City because it is where she’s lived for 20 years. She understands the people here and their lifestyles.
That’s why she thought local patients would appreciate an alternative to holding sessions in her office. She’s not a physical trainer and cannot offer a competitive edge in athletics. Some people feel better with fresh air and sunshine and might get more out of their visits in that environment, she said.
The locale is something she and the patients decide together depending on personalities and the issues needing to be discussed, Page said.
She named her practice Trailtalk, not just because of the outside option, but because she enjoys using metaphors to talk about achieving balance. Life is a journey, she said.
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Her blog is themed after how a "true" bicycle tire has all the spokes at the same length. Similarly, the different aspects of our public and private lives need to be in balance for our lives to "roll along" efficiently.
Minds and bodies are intricately connected, she added, so a holistic approach is usually best for problems.
Page is trained to care for both the mind and body. She decided to become a therapist after working as a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatric psychiatry. Her background in general medicine and family health care became more focused after working with homeless families in Salt Lake City. She realized how much mental issues affected overall health and vice versa.
Sometimes a physical problem manifests itself as depression or anxiety, she said. It’s important to know the whole person to know what kind of help they need.
Like a good nurse practitioner, her aim is to get clients feeling better. Early on in the relationship, Page said, she establishes a goal with patients so they’ll understand when they’re done with therapy.
While she uses several counseling methods, one that is her favorite allows the therapist acts more as a guide or a facilitator than as of an interpreter.
"I’ve seen very positive responses with (the method) because it’s about empowering the patient it’s a self-discovery process," she explained.
Children and teens usually respond better to behavioral approaches, and sometimes adults don’t feel like discussing the past will help in making positive changes, so a diverse "tool box" is used depending on the need, she said.
In her new practice, Page is especially interested in working with young people and professionals who have "performance anxiety," as well as couples dealing with relationship or parental stress. Her extensive experience with children and teenagers makes her comfortable with that demographic, and she enjoys working through issues with adults of any age, she said.
5532 Lillehammer Lane, Suit 207
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