Walk and Talk therapy
In addition to telephone/online counselling I also offer counselling outdoors (Walk and Talk therapy).
Walk and Talk therapy is a simple variation of traditional counselling, engaged outdoors, where we walk side by side. For some people talking to a Counsellor in an office setting or online, can be intimidating. Walk and Talk eliminates that feeling as we walk together side by side in a peaceful setting, sharing the same path.
Walking therapy gets you moving - both literally and figuratively - reaping benefits both mentally and physically. It is easy, natural and relaxing to be outdoors in a natural environment. You set your own walking pace, from a gentle stroll to a brisk pace - whatever you are comfortable with. The emphasis will be on the therapy and the walking and exposure to nature secondary benefits.
Our initial session will be held via telephone/online. Once we agree to work together we will discuss any relevant details (i.e. place, time, fee, etc) and most importantly we will also discuss issues of confidentiality and how we will negotiate encountering other people when out walking. Whether it’s in a park, by a beach or in town, seeing people walking and talking side by side is a very common sight. A client and therapist walking side by side don’t look any different.
For some people, walking outside might itself confront issues they would like to address such as a fear of open spaces or a fear of feeling judged for their appearance. Having a therapist on your side might ease a return to engaging in social situations. The focus of walk and talk therapy is not on how fast or far you can walk but on you, your process and what you are comfortable with.
East Hanningfield Reservoir (CM11 1WT): The nature reserve offers some beautiful walks through the woodland, taking in bird hides, ponds and views across the reservoir. Free parking.
Hyde Hall (CM3 8RA): Set in a landscape of rolling hills and with beatific panoramic views. Entry to my clients isn't charged in addition to the session fee. Free parking.
PS: If you would like to try a different route let me know. As long as we establish prior to the session that the walking route itself is safe for each of us (and location is suitable), other routes could be a possibility.
For more information about how I work, (including fees and additional FAQs), click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we switch to online/telephone if I find I don’t enjoy this? Or can we alternate from week to week?
Absolutely. Again, it is your choice to take the session outdoors for a Walk & Talk session or to have it online (i.e. zoom/facetime) or via telephone. I respect your choice and honour what feels best for you.
What about confidentiality when we are outdoors?
Confidentiality is an essential part of my work. However, with Walk and Talk Therapy, there are limitations to confidentiality due to the outdoor nature of counselling. These limitations are discussed at the initial appointment.
For example, ways that we can work together to maintain the highest level of confidentiality is that we will change our pace if others are around to get more space from them, or take a completely different route. If needed we can go and find a place that is more secluded and sit in the sunshine for a while to continue our session where you feel the most comfortable.
If someone we know approaches us, we may avoid introductions and politely excuse ourselves from the conversation. We will discuss the best approach during our initial consultation/first appointment. I will always follow your lead and never compromise your confidentiality and will follow the plan we have discussed.
Do I have to be fit to undertake Walk and Talk Therapy?
Walk and Talk therapy is not about how far you walk, nor how fast. We will walk at your pace and should you wish (depending on the place we are walking) we may also be able to sit down, etc.
At the initial appointment, I will send you a Disclaimer stating that you have discussed any health concerns with your GP. Agreeing to work together acts as acknowledgement that you agree to participate in Walk and Talk Therapy knowing there can be risks associated with the outdoor nature of the therapy.
Can I bring my dog to the outdoor session with me?
Dogs, although lovely to be around, can take up the time you need for yourself so, unless your dog is a registered support dog, I wouldn't generally allow dogs in the sessions.
Can I bring my baby or toddler with me?
I love children and families, however due to the sensitive nature of counselling sessions, it may not be in the children’s best interests to be present as research shows that babies are taking in our voices and emotions from the in-utero stage of development. Also there is the weather to consider and of course, the fact that parents always have one ear listening out for their babies when they are close at hand. If you could see your way to getting some alone time, then you could benefit in more ways than one.
If this applies to you, please contact me as I am happy to discuss your individual situation and help you find a solution to suit your needs.
How would the weather impact on our sessions?
As your Counsellor, I will be guided by you at all times. It depends on you and what you feel is best for you in that moment. In some cases, we might grab our umbrellas and head off to our walk anyway, or you might decide you are not comfortable to be outdoors and we can have our session via telephone or online (i.e. zoom, facetime).
*Please note: A 48hours cancellation policy applies and the client will be expected to pay the session’s fee for any missed or cancelled sessions with less than 48hs noticed. However, if I am contacted in advance, I will try to offer another session on the same week, subject to availability. Full T&C's available at the initial session.
What to wear?
I would recommend that you wear clothes that are comfortable for you and walking/trainer shoes that you do not mind getting a little dirty.
For more information about how I work (including fees and additional FAQs), click here.
To arrange our first appointment (online/telephone), click here.