Making a Splash with SAWFA

Exercise Motivation Therapy

My experience running an Aquatic Fitness Centre for years, was very positive when it comes to long term adherence and exercise motivation of existing aqua clients.

However, as a psychotherapist, I found clients extremely resistant to the suggestion of physical activity, to improve their emotional wellbeing, even when all of the facts and benefits were placed before them.

The World Health Organisation states in one of its reports that 75% of the World’s Population are inadequately active.

There are numerous research studies and programmes across the globe designed to assist health professionals in motivating their patients and clients to become more physically active.. these quotes sum it up really:-

“Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, [hypertension and obesity], and even depression, at minimal cost and with virtually no side effects,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“Can you imagine if there were a pill that could simultaneously have all those benefits? Everyone would be clamoring for it and physicians would be taking it themselves.” – December 10, 2015 |  Rachel Zimmerman

Sounds like an easy sell right?

Far from it… If it were, we wouldn’t have this world wide dilemma. In fact, in all the research reports that come out, it is evident that when medical doctors, physiotherapists, and psychotherapists suggest exercise, they are often met with vehement resistance.

Practitioner:- OK, now that we have (… discussed your eating habits etc) I wanted to ask you whether its ok with you to spend a couple of minutes talking about something completely different.. Would that be OK? (Asking permission will help a lot)

Client:- Yes, OK what’s that then?

Practitioner:- Its about exercise. Would you mind if we chatted about that if I promise not to nag you about it?

This is a recommended approach given in a document released by The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (UK) “Exercise Prescription in Health and Disease: – A series of cases for medical students.”

Health professionals are almost cowering behind their desks, afraid to approach the subject. Why? Because clients and patients feel so strongly averse to the idea of exercising, that they rear up at the mere mention of it. This reaction does not come from a place of logic and reason.

  • Now, unless a Medical Professional has a particular interest in Exercise Motivation, it isn’t REALLY their field of Expertise is it?


Just imagine if those Medical Professionals could refer their patients to a qualified professional, who is specialised in handling this touchy subject of Exercise Resistance…so that their patients don’t just shut down when the subject is broached.

This sent me on a passionate mission for 7 years, researching, and running surveys, and trialing various therapeutic processes related to Exercise Motivation.

I have included the “Exercise Pain Points and Solutions” Document, for your interest. Funnily enough, whenever I have conducted surveys about exercise Pain Points, I have always had great numbers respond. It is rather easy to uncover these “Pain Points”… however, not as easy to overcome them.

I am currently in the United Kingdom, Pre-Launching the Exercise Motivation Therapy programme I have created for psychotherapists to utilise with their clients.

Once this is up and running, I plan to adapt the programme for Exercise Professionals and Health Professionals to be able to utilise, to assist potential clients and existing clients to improve their long term Exercise Motivation.


If you have any questions, or suggestions, please contact me on

Mobile:- 083 540 1750

Warm Regards

Tracy Clifford Statt