What is Walk and Talk Therapy
Walk and Talk is one type of Eco (green)-Therapy which is based on Eco-Psychology. Eco-psychology refers to how nature impacts mental health and emotional well-being. Eco-therapy is a nature activity for the benefit of well-being. The reasoning behind Eco-therapy is that society and cultures have become more disconnected from nature which has lead to increased psychological symptoms. Eco-therapy is about helping rebalance and reconnect to nature and yourself; to rekindle inner aliveness, and increase compassion, wisdom, and inner peace.
Walk and Talk Therapy, is working with a therapist walking outdoors rather than within an enclosed space. The first session/introduction is held indoors to discuss goals and the considerations of therapy outdoors. Sessions start and end from an agreed starting point. The client sets the pace from a gentle walk to an active moderate pace. The focus is on the therapy rather than it being an exercise session. Walk and Talk can have many benefits and some considerations to be aware of are as follows:
The Benefits of Walk and Talk
- Motion can literally help you move forwards psychologically as well as physically
- Walking can help improve clarity and depth of thinking
- For some it is a less intimidating, and a more relaxed way to do therapy
- It increases healthy activity, and can be invigorating and energising
- Nature can be grounding, meditative, healing, calming, and helps presence
- It can increase confidence, creativity, problem solving and freedom.
- It is an opportunity to engage with mindfulness.
- Clients can feel more comfortable to share thoughts whilst walking
- The visual distraction of walking can help engagement in talking
- It can be helpful for those who feel constrained by the indoors
- It can be helpful for those who feel intimidated by face to face contact
- Being in an open space can help increased openness and sharing
- Outdoor exercise helps release endorphins ‘the feel good’ chemicals
- And increases sunlight exposure and vitamin D
- There is the additional positive achievement of taking a walk
- Exercise/nature can help improve stuckness, anxiety, stress, mood, depression, and grief
Differences to consider with Walk and Talk
Privacy – The client and therapist need to be aware of the risk of being overheard, and take responsibility for being aware of this and pausing where needed or walking elsewhere.
It is agreed prior to the walk how both the client and therapist will deal with encountering someone they know eg saying hello and carrying on/re-engaging in client-therapist conversation.
Weather – Appropriate clothes and footwear, and individual responsibility taken for comfort and protection.
Fitness – The client needs to confirm they are fit for the walk, and seek medical advice if needed
Health – Clients need to take responsibility for their own health and physical well-being
Payment is made before the session by Bank Transfer
Cancellations – normal cancellation policy applies ie 24 hours notice is required otherwise the fee is paid for the session. If cancellations are due to the weather then indoor counselling may be offered as an alternative at another time, otherwise the cancellation policy applies.
Please contact me to arrange an initial face to face consultation, if you are interested in Walk and Talk Therapy in Nottingham: