For a long time, I saw fundraising walks and 5Ks simply as fundraisers. It was only after getting involved myself in the Walk for Boston Children’s Hospital that I understood what these events can do for the participants.
Walking for a cause can be an important way to heal from trauma and fear. We know that trauma causes people to feel helpless. Actively raising money and awareness for something that provides help is a way to reclaim your voice, your power and your efficacy.
We know that trauma takes us “out of our bodies,” causing a disconnect between brain and body. Walking or running forces you to ground in your body and to breathe deeply and mindfully.
We know that trauma is isolating. Joining others with a shared purpose, or a common story, is a way to connect and feel a part of something bigger than yourself.
Walking is a “forward-thinking” action. Moving physically toward a finish line can remind you that you’re capable of healing and moving forward in other ways.
As with trauma work in general, everything has to happen on your timeline. It could take weeks or even years before you’re ready for this kind of step. Don't rush it! Even if you never join one yourself, you can hold onto this hopeful, healing thought: countless walks, runs and fundraisers are out there. Their ostensible purpose is raising money. But they are also gatherings of survivors.
This month, Looking Glass Counseling will make a donation to the Walk for Boston Children’s Hospital fundraiser referenced in this post. Walk for Boston is one of the Boston Children’s Hospital’s fundraising events that will take place on June 12th.
Tara Redepenning, LMHC, is a therapist and the clinical director at Looking Glass Counseling. She earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling and expressive arts therapy from Lesley University. She is experienced in working with adolescents and adults in school-based, crisis, and community settings. Tara brings a holistic approach to her work using psychodynamic theory, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based strategies, and stress reduction techniques. Tara has expertise in working with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, adolescents, and college-age transitions. She also has a clinical interest in working with women during pregnancy and the postpartum period, including fostering and adoptive families.
Thank you for your interest in our Monday Mental Health Moment. Join our mailing list for a weekly newsletter on various mental health topics, and information about upcoming groups or workshops. We promise no spam!