Walk and Talk Therapy/ Ecotherapy
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order"
Walk and Talk therapy can be described as counselling in motion as the priniciples of counselling still apply with the key difference being that both the Counsellor and the client are walking together at the clients pace. Walk and talk therapy has become increasingly popular over the years and provides an alternative to the traditional 'sitting in a therapy room' kind of counselling.
There have been many studies and research done exploring the benefits of being outside and the effects of walking in nature. Mental health charity Mind carried out extensive research a few years ago, which showed that walking in the countryside could help reduce depression and anxiety. In their survey, they reported that 71% of respondents felt decreased depression and less tense after a “green” walk, while 90% felt their self-esteem increase after a country walk.
I have always loved being outside and growing up in the Lake District gave me plenty of opportunity to enjoy walking and being connected to nature. Walking is a powerful way of grounding which can help to stabilise mood and increase our general sense of well-being. In these times of anxiety brought about by social isolation and lockdowns, being outside in the open air is even more important.
Walk and Talk therapy is not suitable for everyone and before any 'walking and talking' is agreed upon, I do an assessment of the clients' needs via Zoom to discern whether walk and talk therapy is going to be suitable or not.
Walk and Talk therapy is not just a casual chat whilst walking along the beach, it is still a counselling session bound by the usual confidentiality, boundaries and ethical and safety guidelines all of which are diuscussed beforehand as part of the assessment and contract.