Beginning in March 2020, Julie has started to offer an alternative to in-office, in-person sessions.
This evolved out of the need to adapt during the COVID crisis; however, also out of a desire to get clients outdoors in nature.
Walk and talk therapy has been described as an intervention that combines counselling, walking, and the outdoors.
Sitting face to face with your therapist in a room, is not for everyone and even sometimes even leads to people avoiding therapy.
The act of walking and moving forward can act as a powerful catalyst to personal change. Clients who feel "stuck" in a situation can benefit from physically moving forward. Walk and talk therapy can speed up the process of therapy and allow the therapist and client to get uncover and resolve issues more quickly and efficiently.
Walk and talk therapy provides bi-lateral stimulation through movement and sound of feet on the ground. EMDR is a well researched form of intervention that uses bi-lateral stimulation to help us process our psychological issues. The act of walking leads to better processing, allowing clients to think more clearly and creatively about ways to resolve problems in their lives.
Walk and talk therapy attends to the mind body connection that we intuitively know matters a great deal in our healing.
While walk and talk therapy does not have a large body of research behind it yet, the therapeutic benefits of being in nature does have extensive research. We are fortunate as residents of Renfrew County, having access to the Algonquin Trail that extends from Pembroke to Petawawa. There are various access points depending on where you live. The road is well maintained and is about 8 feet in width, allowing us to maintain a safe social distance.
The benefits of physical exercises are also well researched. Walking can be an antidote to depression, allowing for the physical release of the stress hormones in our bodies.
Other benefits of walk and talk therapy include;
- Reduction of anxiety
- Stress relief and increased ability to respond to stress in your life
- Increased levels of confidence and self esteem
- Allows you to have a more restful sleep
You may benefit from walk and talk therapy if you struggle with any of the following issues:
- If you feel intimidated by face-to-face traditional therapy
- Life crisis or transitions
- Loss or grief
- Chronic pain or acute illness
- Body image issues