Women Assist Counselling offers walk and talk therapy. Combining rhythmic movement with talking therapy. It’s very similar to traditional counselling, except you are walking while you are talking about issues. I have found that bringing a little bit of movement enriches the counselling session and can also be meditative.
Three key reasons for combining walking and counselling:
- It encourages a client to be more physically active for mental and physical reasons.
- It helps the client get “unstuck” when confronting difficult issues.
- It spurs creative, deeper ways of thinking often released by mood-improving physical activity.
Some clients may become anxious when confronting something difficult in a traditional seated, face-to-face interaction. Walking in parallel with visual distractions allows for easier engagement.
A study reveals how a walk in nature is great for your brain.
Clients have much to gain from adopting an exercise approach in dealing with the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Brisk walking boosts endorphins, which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression and anxiety symptoms. Regular exercise, through the production of feel-good endorphins, can improve mood and self-esteem.
Walking and Talking Therapy does not suit everyone, as many people prefer the safe, cosy environment of my counselling room. But for those who feel constrained by the indoors, or who just feel they can open up more in a wide open space whilst walking in nature, then walking and talking counselling is a great option.
The mental health charity Mind carried out extensive research a few years ago which showed how 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 walk outdoors in nature. In fact any kind of exercise can help to reduce levels of stress, depression and anxiety.
Some of my clients have found it more comfortable walking and talking and find it easier to start discussing their problems when strolling along a walking track in the nearby park. I am happy for my client to set the pace of the walk – if they want to meander along and have a relaxing walk that is fine, but equally we can set a quicker pace if that’s what they feel comfortable with.
I have found walking and talking therapy effective with people of all ages. Just being connected to the outside world can be beneficial, and walking and talking can help with numerous problems, not just depression and anxiety but loss and grief, or any kind of difficult life transitions you may be facing – personal, relationship-based, family or work related.
I help wonderful women, from all walks of life, who may be struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, relationship issues, loss and grief or life changes. I believe nature is intrinsically good for the mind, whether people are troubled or not, but especially when they are struggling with problems. It’s amazing how many problems can be solved through the combination of nature, motion, and human connection.
Please call us on 0422 791 427 if you are interested in Walk & Talk therapy and to see if it is right for you. We are located in the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.