Sometimes it is good to get outside, walk and process as we talk. Adding movement to traditional therapy, advocates say, is a catalyst for getting clients to talk more openly about their emotions. They also point out that walking releases endorphins, which can elevate moods, and that for some clients, a lake or a sidewalk is less intimidating than an office setting.
Walk & Talk sessions are conducted exactly the same way with respect to processing challenges and concerns, discussing relationship worries, working through recovery, healing, and addressing goals – the only difference is our session is conducted outdoors while walking. I conduct my Walk & Talk Sessions from a walking path around a local lake in a relaxing tree filled neighborhood where privacy is respected.
Clients have shared with me that sometimes it is hard to sit in an office across from a therapist. They state it is less intimidating and relaxing to walk beside someone and talk about what is on their heart and mind.
“I enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of the lake, ducks playing and a cool breeze in my face. Being able to relax and walk had freed me up to just talk without being confined to a couch. I feel more productive walking and talking.”
Q: How is this different from traditional therapy in your office?
The only difference is that we conduct the session outdoors while walking together. Outside of that, and wearing a pair of tennis shoes, nothing else changes. Many clients share that the act of moving as we walk side by side helps to process areas of their life that may feel “stuck.”
Q: What about bad weather?
It is always the client’s choice to make the ‘weather call.’ The office is always an option and I respect your choice in this. If you prefer to walk outside, then I am not concerned about a few raindrops or sun rays.
Q: Is this a workout?
No. The client sets the pace. The focus is on your processing, and not on exercise – although getting the blood moving helps connect the brain, and clients share that burning a few calories is an added benefit that they enjoy! There is nothing physically strenuous about the session. The walk around the lake is flat, few stairs and a very relaxing beautiful environment. If you prefer a slow pace, that is fine. If you prefer a faster pace, no problem – you set the speed! Will you feel better after a walk therapy session? You bet you will. If you get tired, there are benches to sit down on and rest for as long as you like.