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Walking Psychotherapy: A Step Towards Holistic Healing

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

In today's fast-paced world, mental health has become a paramount concern. With increasing awareness about the importance of mental well-being, various therapeutic approaches have emerged. One such innovative approach is "walk and talk" therapy. This method combines the therapeutic benefits of traditional counselling with the physical and mental advantages of walking.


1. Walk and Talk Therapy: An Overview


Walk and talk therapy is a unique approach where the therapist and client engage in a therapeutic conversation while walking, usually in a natural setting like a park. This method breaks the conventional barriers of a therapy room, allowing clients to experience the therapeutic process in a more relaxed and open environment. The act of walking side by side with the therapist can make the conversation feel more like a chat between friends, making it easier for clients to open up and share their feelings.


2. Animal-Assisted Therapy: Meet Domino


In addition to walk and talk therapy, we also offer animal-assisted therapy with our therapy dog, Domino. Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to have numerous benefits, including reducing anxiety, improving mood, and enhancing the overall therapeutic experience. Domino can accompany clients during walk and talk sessions or even in a local park, providing comfort and support. The presence of a therapy dog can be especially beneficial for clients who have experienced trauma or have difficulty expressing themselves.


3. Client Feedback: The Impact of Walk and Talk Therapy


One of our clients shared their experience with walk and talk therapy, stating, "Before starting walk and talk therapy, I felt confined and trapped, both mentally and physically. The traditional therapy room felt like a cage. But walking with my therapist in the park, feeling the fresh air, and having Domino by my side changed everything. I felt free, heard, and understood. The natural setting made it easier for me to open up and discuss my feelings. The sessions became something I looked forward to, and I felt a significant improvement in my mental well-being."


4. Scientific Backing: The Benefits of Walking Psychotherapy in the UK


A study titled "Investigating clients' experiences of walk and talk counselling" published in the UK highlighted the increasing use of "walk and talk" counselling, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research emphasizes the benefits of the outdoors, nature, and exercise on mental health. It suggests that walk and talk counselling is not only a response to the pandemic but also an acknowledgment of the therapeutic benefits of nature and physical activity.


5. Conclusion: Embracing a Holistic Approach


Walk and talk counselling sessions offer a holistic approach to therapy, addressing both mental and physical well-being. By stepping out of the traditional therapy room and into nature, clients can experience a sense of freedom and openness that may not be possible in a confined setting. Combined with the support of our therapy dog, Domino, walk and talk therapy provides a comprehensive therapeutic experience that caters to the mind, body, and soul.


Incorporating movement into therapy not only challenges sedentary behaviour but also offers a refreshing perspective on the therapeutic process. As we continue to understand the intricate connection between mental and physical health, approaches like walk and talk therapy pave the way for a more integrated and holistic approach to mental well-being.


Milly


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