The Benefits of Walk and Talk Therapy
Walk and talk therapy has existed for quite some time, but it’s become more popular since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in March 2020. Lots of therapists have switched to working in a walk and talk way so that they are able to continue seeing their clients in a safe way.
Of course, it’s ok for therapists to continue working with clients in a face to face way as per the guidance from the UK Government, providing there are safety measures in place to make clinics Covid secure. But despite that, walk and talk therapy has continued to rise in popularity and it provides an interesting alternative for anybody who does not want to have virtual sessions or sit in a room for an hour.
What is Walk and Talk Therapy?
Walk and talk therapy is when a therapist and their client hold their therapy sessions outdoors while working. It takes therapy away from the constraints of a room and is a more comfortable form of therapy for people who feel more able to open up when walking around and chatting. Walk and talk therapy tends to take place in natural settings, such as woodlands, parks, and other green spaces. The client can set the pace of the walking and talk as much or as little as they want to.
How does it help?
Being connected to nature can be healing and the therapy element of walk and talk therapy adds another layer to it. Research conducted by Mind, a mental health charity, showed that walking in the countryside can help to reduce depression and anxiety. Their study showed that 71% of respondents felt their depression reduced and they felt less tense after a green walk. It also found that 90% of respondents felt their self-esteem was boosted as a result. Other mental health organisations and even the NHS advocate being outdoors in green spaces due to the growing evidence that it can boost mental wellbeing.
Walk and talk therapy is able to take place in a socially distanced way. Face coverings can be worn and physical distancing maintained. Before proceeding, you would have a discussion with your therapist about where you would walk, the rules around confidentiality, and what your plan would be if you saw someone you know while on the walk. Once the plan is in place, your walk and talk therapy can begin.
It may seem strange at first as it’s very different to the traditional form of therapy in which you visit the therapist’s clinic, sit in a chair, and spend an hour having a counselling session or enjoying a hypnotherapy treatment. That typical form of having therapy still exists, has its place, and is recommended as the best way of having therapy. However, alternatives exist and walk and talk therapy works well for anyone who doesn’t enjoy sitting in a room talking, who enjoys being outdoors and surrounded by nature, and who feels they would get more from therapy taking place in that way.
To find out more on how counselling can help you, check out these 10 key benefits of counselling.