Outdoor Walk and Talk TherapySam Horrocks2017-05-11T16:13:39+00:00
Outdoor Walk and Talk Therapy
What is Outdoor Walk and Talk Therapy?
During the warmer/drier months (May to October) it may be possible to take your Counselling/Psychotherapy outside during daylight hours, this approach is known as Walk and Talk Therapy or Outdoor Therapy. It is suggested that being outdoors close to nature helps us to relax, and increases ‘happy’ hormones such as dopamine and serotonin whilst reducing adrenaline and cortisol. The theory is that whilst you are walking you are engaging in physical flow and movement and that this allows for emotional movement to take place, bringing thoughts, feelings and clarity to the surface. Being able to experience fresh air and natural breaths whilst you talk and explore yourself can create a sense of freedom and feel less intense or stifling than the traditional counselling room setting. Walk and Talk Therapy will not suit everyone, it is very much a personal choice and the boundaries of Confidentiality do feel different and need to be considered for each individual.
How does Walk and Talk Therapy work?
Before we can engage in Walk and Talk therapy you will need to attend your first session (the assessment session) indoors at the Counselling room. Once we have agreed to work together we can discuss the practicalities of Outdoor Therapy including things like confidentiality, meeting place and weather contingencies. During the Therapy you will set the pace and I will match this walking along side you. You may want to consider the opportunity to take breaks and sit on a bench during your session along the way and the benefits this may add to your session.
I offer two possibilities for Walk and Talk Therapy:-
We meet at the Pink Ferry hut on the Warsash footpath where we walk along and turn back at an agreed point based on your pace and our time together. This footpath can be a little rocky underfoot so you will need to take this into account should you have any physical conditions to consider but it offers a good sense of space and freedom. There are few benches along the way were we can stop and take stock at any time.
We can meet in the Counselling room and take a walk around the local area. This is useful for those who are not sure they want to walk the whole session or perhaps need it to be flatter underfoot. As it tends to be more built up it can feel a little more secluded and private whilst still having the benefit of being outdoors.
Either way it is your responsibility to make sure you have the appropriate footwear and clothing. You may also want to bring a bottle of water.
The key points to remember is that the focus remains on the Therapy and that this is not a substitution for your daily tasks such as walking the dog, the baby or doing your exercise. The session will remain one to one for just you and I with the Counselling or Psychotherapy being the primary focus and the walk being the secondary.