For futher study of Experiential Psychology we encourage you to read (just click:) 

Gendlin, E.T. (1973). Experiential psychotherapy. In R. Corsini (Ed.), Current psychotherapies (pp. 317-352). Itasca, IL

From perched upon a dismal and rather uncomfortable ottoman (literally a hard and lumpy seat, but moreover one that reverberates with the destitute nature of a windowless room and the intensly awkward gaze of the therapist) one may get a prescription for exercise.  Go bask in a little recreation and sunshine, get your body moving, its good for the soul. Simple enough... right?


Well Paddle and Play therapeutic coaching has made things that much simplier, not to mention more enjoyable!  Blossoming with a bright idea to integrate the perscription for play right into the theraputic or coaching relationship/session our program allows clients to chose from a variety of activities for all levels and abilities (and certainly suggest new ones!) Exercise, the outdoors, a little sunshine, and a bit of, well, play are naturally occurring therapeutic elements in ample supply in Santa Cruz, California. However depression, anxiety, financial strains, harsh demands of work and family, questions of purpose and direction, or general discontent can put a cloud to our California sunshine.    


Paddle and Play therapy utilizes recreation as a median for personal and professional development by enhancing each coaching session with mutual participation in healthy and enjoyable activities amidst naturally therapeutic environments.  The simple act of moving not only serves as a powerful tool for energizing coaching sessions, but it provides a literal metaphor of self-growth as together we walk, pedal, or paddle towards a healthier and happier state of being.  Each recreational coaching session is tailored to the clients interests, goals, abilities, and unique needs to keep them enjoyable, relevant, and accessible. Ryan served has a holistic wellness coach, an adaptive therapy program director for Achilles international and AccessSportsAmerica, a Yoga instructor, and Triathlon coach in addition to recieving dual Masters degrees: (one in Strategic Business Communications and a second in Theology with a certification in Clinical Pastoral Education.)  His undergraduate work focused on creative writing and he will often utilize creative art and/or journaling into sessions. He has worked intensively around cognitive psychological areas of eating disorders, depression, and anxiety in addtion to his passion for career and professional coaching, nonprofit business development, and strategic business communications.  Whether seeking 


When booking sessions you can chose between kayaking, cycling, walking, hiking, paint, or surfing (and if you have another idea please share it... you can call or email anytime (443-223-7334 or runningmango@msn.com!)  All equipment is provided and all you have to do is show up and PLAY!  Sounds easy, but sometimes remembering how to play can be a big (and rather intimidating) step… but thankfully not one that you have to take alone! Each session is at least 90 minutes; however, these are not your typical office space and these sessions are also not structured around counting minutes!  Having fun?  Making progress?  Still energized?  We'll go longer!  Ryan was a past professional marathoner and elite Ironman Triathlete so the first joy of Paddle and Play theraputic coaching lies in ditching our watches and listening to our bodies and spirits. Furthermore, Ryan loves to play so these sessions are enjoyable on both ends, and holding true to the humble belief that we all grow together and have gifts to share, these sessions are mutually engaging and the wisdom you offer will help guide Ryan's future work in our community.


Ryan is also a Pastor for the Presbyterian Church (USA) with a passion for philosophy and  inclusive spirituality.  He serves as the San Jose regional hunger advocate for the National Presbyterian denomination and is the founder and director of Sweaty Sheep Ministries (www.sweatysheep.com).  Ryan is a member of the interfaith committee of UCSC and speaks frequently at various conferences and services for an ecumenical church network throughout the Bay area. Faith is an important element in personal growth and self-acceptance; however, coaching sessions do not promote any one faith tradition, but merely ignite one’s personal exploration of a variety of spiritual practices and traditions.  Ryan’s favorite faith metaphor is that of an ice-cream shop… Ice cream is a treat!  It sweetens life!  However, there is no “right or wrong” flavor of ice cream and our ability to chose one that satisfies our particular cravings and tastebuds alongside of others with equal freedom is joyous.  Desmond Tutu often uplifted the South African concept of “Umabantu,” loosely translated: “I am me because you are you.”  We are unified through our diversity in faith, culture, and the stories that we share which have formed us along the way and the integration of faith into coaching (if YOU so choose) is meant to uplift the idea of unity through individuality.


Through Paddle and Play Coaching you will move through the stories of your past, create new re-write those of the present, and take the first and foundational footsteps in the formation of many happy endings (and new begginings) to come. 


I looking forward to walking (or paddling, hiking, etc) the growth journey alongside of you!



Your Coach

Ryan Althaus, MDiv; MSBC
Ryan is a certified wellness and triathlon coach, yoga instructor, and has a passion for special populations and adaptive therapy. He has undergraduate degrees in creative writing and religious philosophy, as well as two master's (one in strategic business development/communications and a second in Theology). Ryan is a Presbyterian pastor, certified clinical chaplain, professional grant writer/nonprofit business consultant for the Santa Cruz Community Foundation, and founder of two nonprofit organizations in addition to work as the development director of The Homeless Garden Project where he now volunteers his services. He is involved with a variey of nonprofit organizations in town and part of his passion and goals lie in matching each client with fuflilling opportunities to give back to the community in meaningful and relavant ways.  You can read some articles on Ryan's work through his program, "Sweaty Sheep Ministries" by visiting http://sweatysheep.com/discover/news-archive/ and learn more in the "your coach button" on this site!  






PO Box 7385

Santa Cruz, CA 95060