Walking to Clarity...
Walking Therapy is an innovative approach to counselling that takes place in the intrinsically therapeutic setting of nature, rather than in the traditional therapy room environment or currently prevalent online video context. It is counselling in motion. It is well understood that being physically active helps release some tensions and stimulates new thoughts and ideas. Combining physical activity with counselling and mindfulness practice; working with the mind, the body, the breath and the emotion at the same time has immediate physiological benefits, like lowering blood pressure and increased metabolism as well as reduce anxiety, enhance creativity and improve the capacity for problem solving.
Who is it for…
This approach is particularly beneficial to those who feel stuck. That can be in any aspect of your life. Work, relationship, unhealthy routines. It is important to state that this method is not for everyone. Certain issues are still better dealt within the containing and holding environment of the therapy room. For that reason, my initial consultation is always on zoom, to ensure that this way of working is what would benefit you the most.
How does it work ?
We agree to meet once a week for the usual 50 minute therapy hour to walk in an open space or parkland. During your first session we will discuss issues of confidentiality and how we will negotiate encountering other people when out walking. Whether it’s in a park, by a beach or in town, seeing people walking and talking side by side is a very common sight. A client and therapist walking side by side don’t look any different. During a walk therapy session, you lead the pace just like in a traditional counselling session. Yet, the dynamic is different. You and I are on the same footing, literally. Walking side by side can be much less intimidating and helps release inhibition.
Frequently asked questions
I get asked what happens with appointments in bad weather. During our appointment we can agree together what we deem to be a good enough reason to reschedule. Some might be quite happy to walk in a drizzle… This way of working together is a bit more flexible, like the weather. If we cannot walk I will offer a zoom alternative for that week.
What happens if we bump into someone you or I know? We will discuss your preference regarding this unlikely scenario. I would normally ask you to keep the engagement brief, greet and pass if possible.
Where do we walk ? And is it the same route every week? We agree the place we meet, and the route we take. It can be the same each week or varied. That's up to us to agree. I do need to risk assess each route so I would need some notice before changing.
How long is the walk we take? in terms of distance it varies wildly. We have 50 minutes together. What distance we walk depends on our pace and how often we pause for rest.
Can I bring my dog? I love dogs and I'm very happy to work with you with your dog coming along, however I would encourage you to take some factors into consideration. If you feel it would impact on your presence of mind, perhaps you'd feel distracted, other dogs and dog owners might aproach that may distract.