Walking talking therapy
Walking talking therapy is a concept that can be best described as “taking the traditional counselling session outdoors”. When we move and shift our environment, we may find that we can think differently about aspects of our lives that may have before seemed unchangeable. What do clients think about my new Walking Talking Therapy sessions?
“During walking talking therapy I find it easier to express my feelings compared with traditional sat down therapy. There feels more stimulus to influence what we talk about. I also feel less on the spot as eye contact isn’t as intense. I feel more comfortable with the connection with nature – walking through the park or by the sea. It’s calming. We’re looking at ADHD and walking talking therapy definitely helps.”
Our first session will take place in my counselling room where we will discuss issues of confidentiality and how we will negotiate encountering other people when out walking. It is important to remember that people walking and talking side by side is a very common sight and therefore a client and therapist walking side by side doesn't look any different. We can decide together where you would prefer to walk whether it's perhaps by the sea or amongst the trees.
Why choose Walking and Talking counselling sessions?
Walking and talking counselling gets you outside and moving also being close to nature can be meditative and grounding. We can talk about grounding techniques using the five senses this can help people who have experienced distress and trauma.
Physical activity can enhance the mental and physical health of clients. Physical activity has also been shown to reduce levels of depression and anxiety and can help to prevent depressive symptoms.
Walking and talking therapy helps to release tension and can stimulate new thoughts and ideas. Even if you're confident talking face to face to a counsellor, you might become apprehensive when confronting particular issues. The combination of walking and fresh air allows for easier engagement and process, and you can feel more grounded as you're moving forward while walking.
During a walking and talking counselling session, you lead the pace just like in a traditional counselling session. Yet the dynamic is fairly different. Client and counsellor are on the same footing, literally. We will walk together side by side, for some people this can feel more comfortable.
Walking and talking therapy is also particularly helpful for people feeling they are trapped in a life or roles that don't fit for them anymore, people looking for change. Being outdoors and talking about their issues enhances the renewal of a sense of freedom.
Some people find it easier to open up while walking and talking and less intense to walk alongside each other making occasional eye contact. It is also possible to alternate - walking talking counselling sessions are not fixed. The weather is also a factor to be considered.
"Somehow the simple act of walking while talking out life's issues creates an environment of possibility and change."