When most people think of counselling the image that comes to mind involves a room with two chairs with therapist and client sat opposite one another. For some people this can feel overwhelming leaving them feeling vulnerable and pressured to speak. Maybe it feels so intense they never come back. Sometimes just the thought of being in the room prevents people seeking help in the first place. Therapy does not have to be like this.
Perhaps you already tried the traditional counselling route and it’s not for you. Walking and talking could be a great alternative because walking side by side without such direct eye contact can feel more equal and less formal. You can talk as little or as much as you like.
Or maybe you are a parent with a young baby and cannot imagine how you would even be able to carve out an hour in your day or leave your baby with some else if they are new-born. With walk and talk therapy you don’t have to worry about this as you can bring your baby along in their buggy.
It’s also great if you’re feeling stuck in your current therapy and can be combined with therapy in the counselling room.
What is walk and talk therapy?
In its most basic form, it simply means walking and talking during your therapy session. Outdoor therapy often includes bringing nature and movement into the session and using objects found on the walk to explore and process thoughts and feelings, or to use as metaphors or provide symbolic meaning. Moving the body may help to express emotions more freely and nature is a great healer.
You don’t have to be super fit. This type of therapy is suitable for all levels of fitness as you lead the pace. You may prefer to walk for the whole session or choose one of my routes that has seating to rest. Your fitness level, preferred route, how we work with unpredictable weather and protecting your privacy when we encounter other people will all be discussed at your initial session. This is so we can assess that walk and talk therapy is the right option for you.
Benefits to being outdoors in nature
- Walking is clinically proven to reduce stress
- Increased sense of wellbeing
- Lowers anxiety and depression
- Reduces anger
- Increases confidence and self esteem
- Shown to be effective for loss and bereavement and when going through crisis and life transitions