Climbers and their Mental Health


This month I had the opportunity to speak at the Climbing Wall Association’s annual conference. I see climbers in my practice individually, but this was the first time I was invited to be part of an important dialogue on the sport/art of climbing and its impact on wellbeing.  

In our panel, Dr. Nicole Detling (Mental Performance Consultant), Lor Sabourin (Professional Climber & Therapist), we shared our perspectives on a range of topics like: performance under high stakes conditions, the impact of the pandemic on Climber’s wellbeing, coping with recurring injuries, eating disorders, and how climbing can be a place of healing or at times escapism from dealing with other difficult issues (e.g., conflicts in our relationships, trauma). Climbers as a whole are incredibly resilient, but that can also make it harder to recognize when and how to seek therapy or other forms of professional help. 

Despite years of climbing, when I go out I’m still just struck by the generosity, friendliness, and supportiveness of the climbing community. In that spirit, if you or another climber is looking for resources or ideas on how to get set up with care in your area, reach out ashley@greenwellpsychology.com


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