What is walk and talk therapy?
Walk and talk therapy, also known as outdoor therapy or ecotherapy, is a form of psychotherapy or counselling that takes place outdoors while the therapist and the client walk together. Instead of the traditional office setting, walk and talk therapy sessions occur in natural environments like parks, gardens, or other outdoor spaces.
During these sessions, the therapist and client engage in a walking conversation, just like in a regular therapy session. The therapist provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment for the client to explore their thoughts, feelings, and emotions while incorporating the benefits of physical activity and nature.
The concept of walk and talk therapy is based on several principles:
Nature's Therapeutic Benefits: Being in nature has been shown to have positive effects on mental well-being. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhance overall emotional resilience.
Movement and Physical Activity: Walking and physical activity can have mood-boosting effects and contribute to a sense of well-being. The act of walking can also stimulate cognitive processes and encourage self-reflection.
Informal Atmosphere: The relaxed and informal setting of walk and talk therapy can help some clients feel more at ease, making it easier for them to open up and discuss sensitive issues.
Metaphorical Reflection: The natural environment can serve as a metaphor for the client's life journey, offering opportunities for deeper reflection and understanding.
Walk and talk therapy may not be suitable for everyone or for every type of therapeutic concern. Some clients may prefer the traditional office setting, and certain issues may require more privacy or confidentiality. Additionally, the accessibility of outdoor spaces and weather conditions may limit the feasibility of this approach in some locations.
As with any form of therapy, the effectiveness of walk and talk therapy depends on the individual's preferences, the therapeutic relationship, and the specific needs and goals of the client. It is essential for clients to discuss their preferences and comfort level with their therapist to determine if walk and talk therapy is a suitable option for them.
Nada is currently providing walk and talk therapy in the Northern Suburbs of Wollongong. Sessions are 60 minutes. Standard fees are $120/hr.
Concession rates may be available for students and for those experiencing financial difficulty.
If you would like to learn more about the counselling process please visit CCAA.