The S.O.A.P. (Strategies Overcoming Aquatic Phobias) Program is an innovative "Health and Wellness Aquatic Program" that can help any individual, regardless of their age, fitness level or life experience who is unable to enjoy the many physical, emotional and recreational benefits that result from participating in aquatic activities, as a result of their fear of water. This unique and highly successful program combines the use of cognitive awareness regarding the "who, what and whys" of aquatic fears and phobias, individual and group counseling skills, such as behavior modification, systematic desensitization and positive imagery techniques, as well as transitional aquatic skill building. These resources allow the SOAP clients to develop and increase their "Aquatic IQ", which the program defines as "a person's age appropriate degree of emotional stability, cognitive awareness and aquatic skills that enable that person to feel, think and act confidently, competently and safely in water". The information and emotional and physical support provided to clients, both in and out of the water, allows them to understand and manage their varying levels of anxiety and to learn and develop a wide variety of aquatic skills so that they will be able to learn how to swim.
The SOAP Program Founder and Director, Jeff Krieger, one of the Nation's top experts in this field, is a certified mental health counselor and crisis interventionist, who has been working with special needs swimmers for more than forty years. He designed the program in response to an ever increasing number of individuals who were non-swimmers, not only as a result of their fear, but more so by a lack of available and effective resources that addressed that population's unique challenges and needs. Unfortunately, most people who suffer from an exaggerated fear of water usually are not successful in "traditional" learn to swim programs that only teach swim stroke development.
Furthermore, The SOAP Program is also now offering SOAP Instructor Training to professionals who share a passion and purpose for helping others overcome their fear of water and engage in an aquatic lifestyle.
The Program's Director stresses the point that every non-swimmer remains a high risk of injury or drowning to both themselves and others in and around water and that every competent swimmer remains a water safety advocate and resource to help others avoid those dangers.
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