Walk and talk therapy, Ecotherapy or Outdoor therapy combines traditional talk therapy with walking in nature. It offers a relaxing environment for a client whilst encouraging healthy activity. Furthermore, the movement that happens whilst walking may help clients to feel unstuck.
What is walk and talk therapy and how can it help?
Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better – Albert Einstein
According to research exercise can improve overall mood whilst also reducing stress and anxiety. Firstly, being outdoors allows you to breathe deeply and be immersed in nature. Secondly, this can be experienced as meditative, allowing deeper thinking and opportunity to tackle difficult issues, such as anxiety, depression, grief or loss, amongst other issues.
During our outdoor counselling session together, we walk side by side or one in front of the other, sharing your words, emotions, thoughts as each step is taken.
Being outdoors can be less confrontational for a client who is uncomfortable in a traditional counselling setting or perhaps is finding it difficult to face issues. Others just enjoy combining the outdoors with their therapy.
Where will Walk and Talk Therapy take place?
This type of counselling takes place in the local Warwickshire countryside. I have chosen a couple of different routes, local to Snitterfield near Stratford upon Avon. I know these places well, so we will not get lost. Furthermore, once you know the route, you can lead where we walk within the agreed location.
What about confidentiality?
I have selected places where it is rare to see others, although this can happen occasionally. We can discuss this during our first session. However, it is important to remember that two people walking alongside each other happens regularly and so, a client and therapist walking side by side doesn’t look out of the ordinary.
We would discuss confidentiality concerns in more detail during our initial session together.
Feel free to share with me any anxieties you have if we go to a place and it doesn’t feel right for you. It is important that you feel safe and held for outdoor therapy to be of benefit.
What if I try Walk and Talk Therapy and realise it isn’t for me?
This is an invitation to work outdoors. However, we can agree to return to standard therapy sessions at any time you like. Additionally, we may decide not to work outdoors during the winter for example.
What about the weather?
On the morning of our session day, I contact clients via text to confirm the weather and check if they would like their outdoor session that day. After that, I leave it up to you to decide.
If you prefer not to walk and talk, we have other options. We can meet online, have a telephone session or at my summerhouse in Snitterfield near Stratford Upon Avon.
What are the benefits of Walk and Talk therapy?
Some clients report feeling more present. Others find that they leave their difficulties behind in the place we walk. Many clients have reported how nature seems to offer metaphor that reflects their experience. This can help the process of counselling by allowing a gentle and safe exploration.
Sessions at your pace
We will meet at a mutually arranged time, date and place. Session duration is 50 minutes with you, the client, setting the pace. I will monitor the time. You may prefer a slower, relaxing session or a faster-paced session. If you feel it is necessary to sit down at any time, we will if possible in the most appropriate place. In short, these decisions are led by you.
What can I wear?
I would advise wearing either walking boots or Wellington boots as the terrain can get muddy during the Winter, Spring or Autumn. As we come into summer, trainers may be fine.
What is the cost of a Walk and Talk session?
Sessions are charged at my standard counselling rate which is £50.00. An initial session (which is usually held in my summerhouse in Snitterfield) is charged at a reduced rate of £30.00 to give us a chance to see how we could work together. I have some limited sessions at reduced rates for clients on low incomes or benefits and counselling students.
Summary of the benefits
- Allows you to explore both physically in nature and metaphorically in yourself
- An opportunity to be with nature and experience fresh air
- A chance to take light exercise
- Gets you outside and moving
- Nature provides many metaphors for our therapeutic work
Call to discuss
You’re welcome to contact me for a chat. I would really like to hear from you.
Contact me via email or contact form whichever you prefer.
I welcome diversity including all body size, age, disability, race, sexuality & gender (lgbtqia+), class, religion and political values.
See the resources page to access helpline and website details of useful organisations.
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