My name is Naomi Shtilman, Omi for short. I work in Portland, OR and specialize in rock climbing psychotherapy.

Above and beyond traditional talk-therapy, climbing psychotherapy increases a person's capacity to be present with and constructively navigate their own emotional responses.

Climbing psychotherapy promotes full body integration, increases confidence, self-awareness, and promotes a general sense of self-efficacy. ItĀ utilizes the latest findings from neuroscience to support creating new experiences, and therefore new neuropathways in the brain.

Anyone can benefit from climbing psychotherapy!


What is Rock Climbing Psychotherapy?

In climbing psychotherapy, we use climbing to stimulate the body and mind, engaging clients holistically. Climbing is a safe environment for clients to witness their own challenges, and practice new techniques.

Climbing is also a source of bilateral stimulation. Bilateral stimulation is the use of visual, auditory, or tactile external stimuli occurring in a rhythmic side-to-side pattern. It is a core element of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, a common treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Using the act of climbing, we promote embodiment as a means of developing mindfulness techniques, self-awareness, and other skillsets that support emotional regulation.

The development of these skills in conjunction with exploring your mental health challenges results in a holistic treatment of mind and body.


Why Climb?

In 2005, a study was released demonstrating that eight weeks of climbing psychotherapy can reduce depression to sub-clinical levels in previously diagnosed individuals.

A 2013 study confirmed these results. Additionally, this study demonstrated that individuals who undergo climbing psychotherapy benefited from an increase in self-confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.

Further studies have shown that climbing psychotherapy reduces depression and anxiety.

In short, we climb because it works.