walking and talking therapy
Walking and talking therapy is exactly that - walking and talking.
Instead of sitting in front of your counsellor in the counselling space, the counselling session takes place outdoors walking side by side.
(During these unusual circumstances regarding Covid-19, the government guidelines of the 2 metre distance has to be adhered to at all times).
It is counselling in motion, and there is no focus to fitness. It is as dynamic as an indoor session. If you have felt stuck in therapy in the past, being physically active helps release some tensions and stimulates new thoughts and ideas. It is a metaphor for moving forward.
During a walk and talk counselling session, you lead the pace just like any other counselling session offered. Yet the dynamic is fairly different. You and I will be on the same footing, literally. Walking side by side can be much less intimidating and helps release inhibition. It can be taken as an introduction to counselling, followed up by more of these sessions or a different session option.
Some people find themselves sat in an office or have less opportunity to be active during the day and for whom the idea of a walk and talk session might be an option they would like to consider.
Even if you’re confident talking face to face, you might become apprehensive when confronting particularly tricky issues for you. 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. Walking helps increase the blood flow to the brain, and help creating new ideas to tackle any issues which may come up.
Another thought might be about the weather? Usually, the first session would take place at my indoor counselling space where we would agree on what to do if the weather is bad. Being aware of the diverse weather we have I am okay with a few drops of rain, but it is your call, and happy to offer the possibility of either cancelling a session due to bad weather or conducting the session indoor, online, or by telephone.
During these unsettling times however, the first initial session can be a walk and talk based session or using Skype, Zoom or telephone. As the current situation means a different approach. I am happy to support these first sessions anyway you may feel more comfortable to.
During our first session we would discuss:
Confidentiality and how we will negotiate encountering other people when out walking.
It is recommended that the space is quiet, with less people to ensure confidentiality can be kept.
Sometimes seeing people walking and talking side by side is a very common sight. A client and counsellor walking side by side doesn't look any different, so some clients maybe approached by others they may know to stop and talk.
Most importantly is an environment where safety can be maintained at all times.
The focus of walk and talk therapy is about you, your process and what you are comfortable with.
As you are aware animals can also offer emotional support during anxious times and happy to invite Yingy (my Pug) along to join us, if the client was happy with this.
Please note - any individuals currently isolating, tested positive or anyone close to them who has tested positive for Coronavirus cannot be offered Walk and Talk sessions at this time. Other options are available to ensure support is there for everyone.