What is walk and talk therapy and how can it help me?
Walk and talk therapy, also known as outdoor therapy or walk and talk counselling, is a type of therapeutic approach where therapy sessions take place outdoors while the client and therapist walk together. Instead of the traditional office-based therapy setting, clients and therapists engage in therapeutic conversations while walking in natural surroundings, parks, or other outdoor environments.
Here are some ways in which walk and talk therapy can be beneficial for you:
Stress Reduction: The physical activity of walking can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Being in a natural environment can further enhance these benefits.
Improved Mood: Outdoor settings and physical activity can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Walk and talk therapy can be particularly helpful if you are experiencing depression or anxiety.
Enhanced Creativity: Changing the environment and engaging in physical activity can stimulate creativity and help you think more clearly. You may find it easier to generate new ideas or solutions to problems.
Increased Comfort: You may may feel more at ease when not confined to a traditional office setting. Walk and talk therapy can reduce the formality and perceived judgment associated with conventional therapy.
Improved Focus: Walking can help you concentrate on your thoughts and feelings, making it easier to engage in therapy discussions. It can also reduce distractions often present in indoor settings.
Strengthened Mind-Body Connection: The combination of physical movement and therapy can help you become more in tune with your body and emotions. This can lead to better self-awareness and emotional regulation.
Fresh Perspective: A change of scenery can lead to fresh insights and perspectives on your life, issues, or concerns. You may see things from a new angle and gain a clearer understanding of your challenges.
Enhanced Connection with the Therapist: Walking side by side with your therapist can create a different kind of therapeutic relationship. Some clients find it easier to open up and connect during a walk, leading to more productive sessions.
Normalisation of Help-Seeking: Walk and talk therapy can help reduce the stigma associated with therapy. The informal setting can make it feel like a natural part of self-care and wellness.
It's important to remember that the effectiveness of walk and talk therapy may vary from person to person. Some individuals may find it more beneficial than traditional office-based therapy, while others may prefer the latter. The key is to work with a qualified therapist who can tailor the approach to your specific needs and goals. The therapist will guide the session and help you explore your thoughts, feelings, and concerns in the context of the outdoor environment, ultimately facilitating personal growth and improved mental well-being.