Exercise + Sport Program

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need to exercise in order to feel okay about yourself or your day?
  • Do you at times struggle with choosing exercise over other important things/people in your life?
  • Have you been confronted by a loved one who is concerned with your exercise patterns?
  • Do you find yourself intensely critical of your performance in sport/movement?
  • Are you afraid of what might happen if you try to re-engage with movement at this point in your life?
  • Do you notice that you avoid movement because you feel intimidated, unmotivated, or out of shape?
  • Do you feel the need to “earn” what you eat or exercise to compensate for what you eat?


Exercise + Sport Program Overview:

The Exercise + Sport Program is designed to help clients better understand and explore the impact of sports and exercise on their lives and relationships.

The overall goal of the Exercise + Sport program is to increase understanding, freedom and flexibility for clients in regards to their relationship with themselves and movement.  Our basic assumption is that movement is our birthright. Our hope for each client is that regardless of sport/exercise background, they would leave Opal with the tools necessary to nourish and care for their body using movement, exercise and sport as a part of overall health.

Individual Exercise + Sport Experientials

Individual Sports and Exercise Experientials are a way for clients to further explore and elaborate on the group therapy conversation around sports and movement through individual work with an experiential therapist. Sessions are a mix of movement and talk therapies that use actual sport and exercise movements to facilitate and integrate new ways of thinking and behavior for each client. Experientials are uniquely designed to both explore and interrupt compulsive movement patterns, along with helping those clients who have avoided exercise.  

Re-Thinking Exercise + Sport Group

This group is specifically designed to explore and become more curious about client’s paradigms around exercise and sport through various group prompts that are crafted by group facilitators. The group explores concepts of identity, needs, performance, conditioning, relationships, familial/cultural influences, and other concepts that are connected to exercise and sport in each client’s life. Research shows that the qualitative aspects of exercise are more significantly related with eating disorders than the quantitative aspects of exercise (Meyer and Taranis et. al 2011).  This means that we target exploration of the various qualitative aspects of exercise such as the drive to be thin, perfectionism and rigidity, affect regulation and obsessive compulsiveness.  Clients are encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences, as well as to interact with the content brought by their peers.

Movement Group

Movement group offers clients a chance to safely experiment with different types of movement, exercise and sports in a group setting. Clients are challenged to utilize the new concepts they are learning in Re-Thinking Exercise + Sport group with the support of staff. This group offers clients increased hope in making changes to their relationship with exercise by realizing what is possible.

Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is twice weekly with a Registered Yoga Therapist.  Clients are encouraged to challenge their traditional thought and movement patterns and move in an attuned way.

Individual Nutrition Sessions

We offer individual nutrition sessions from a provider with expertise in sports nutrition.

  1. October 3, 2017

    Could you please tell me what kind of tx options you have available for someone with exercise compulsion? Looking for an outpatient program.

    • October 4, 2017

      Hi Trish,

      Our outpatient services include counseling, nutrition, and psychiatry. Several of our staff specialize in sport+exercise and might be a good fit. We also have some rotating outpatient exercise+sport groups for established Opal clients. If you would like to learn more about our program and if we would be a good fit for you, please call our intake department at 206-538-2305. Our intake team can give you a more detailed description of what treatment would look like for someone with disordered exercise.

      Hope this helps!


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