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WALK AND TALK COUNSELLING

Counselling in nature, counselling in motion

Walk and talk counselling is, quite literally, the process of taking counselling outdoors, and walking side by side whilst a counselling session takes place. If you find it hard to stay sitting still in one place, if you've ever felt "stuck" in therapy, or even if you just really enjoy being out in nature, walk and talk counselling may be an option you'd like to consider.

What are the benefits of walk and talk counselling?

Fresh air and exercise have lots of benefits for your physical and mental health, including reductions in anxiety and depression, reduced stress levels, increased relaxation and calmness.

However, there are also benefits to having counselling outside:

  • Walking side by side with your counsellor can be less intimidating than sitting across a room from them, making eye contact. It can be easier to tell them difficult, shameful, or traumatic things when you don't have to look at them.

  • The process of walking, and paying attention to your surroundings can help to keep you grounded in the here-and-now. 

  • Moving forward, through walking, can help to release things that are "stuck", and can stimulate new thoughts and ideas. It is a metaphor for moving forwards. It can also feel easier to "leave things behind", simply by walking away from them.

  • If you spend much of your day sitting in an office or behind a desk, getting outside and moving can be a welcome break for you.

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Walk and talk counselling - how does it work?

As with traditional face to face counselling, we will agree a time and date for our counselling session to take place. I usually conduct walk and talk counselling sessions at the beginning or the end of my working day. We will also agree where we will meet, and where our walk and talk counselling session will take place. We are lucky, in North Worcestershire, to have many beautiful areas in and around Bromsgrove, and there are a couple of options available for walk and talk counselling sessions.

Payment for walk and talk counselling sessions is due a minimum of 24 hours in advance of your session. An invoice will be emailed to you, whereby you can pay for your session online via a secure payment link. 

Our session will then take place in a similar way to face to face counselling, except for the fact that we are walking outside. As with face to face counselling, you set the pace, however with walk and talk counselling, you also set the physical pace. Some people want to keep moving, others like to pause, perhaps to look at something, or to take time to sit on a bench and reflect - it's completely up to you.

Practical considerations of walk and talk counselling

Whilst you set the pace in walk and talk counselling, and we can take as many breaks as you need to, it is up to you to consider your own health, and whether you are physically able to take part in walk and talk counselling. In order to access walk and talk counselling, you must confirm that you do not have an existing health condition that would make walk and talk counselling unsuitable, or dangerous for you. If you take medication, you must bring any medication you may require during the session with you.

We may be out walking in any weather, so please wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. It is also important that you wear appropriate footwear. Some of the paths we may walk on may be stony and uneven in places. Please also bring a drink with you if you need one, along with a hat and suncream.

 

If the weather forecast is bad, I will contact you to discuss whether to change our booked session to an online or telephone counselling session, or a face to face session at my office.

It is also important to consider confidentiality. As we will be walking in a public place, it is possible that we may be overheard by others in the vicinity, or that we might meet someone either one of us knows. We will talk about how to navigate this in our first session, but please do remember that it's very common to see two people walking and talking together. A counsellor and client walking side by side don't look any different.

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