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Walk and Talk Therapy

badge showing I am trained in Walk and Talk Therapy
therapist and client  on walk and talk t

The location of therapy sessions has changed, more so since covid, no more does a therapy session have to be held in a therapy office.  Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of walk and talk therapy, where the session is taken outdoors, combining the benefits of physical activity with the healing dynamics of psychotherapy. This previously unconventional method can offer you a breath of fresh air, literally (!!!) while you talk through the things that you struggle with and maybe find different ways of coping.  But what exactly are the benefits of walk and talk therapy?  Why might it be helpful to you?

  • One of the biggest advantages of walk and talk therapy is just being in out nature, many (maybe you?) can find it calming and grounding. Stepping outside the therapy office, a space that can at times feel clinical, and into the natural world can instantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. The soothing sights, sounds, and smells of nature create a serene backdrop which can encourage you towards introspection and relaxation. Not to mention that research has consistently shown that spending time in green spaces can improve mood, enhance cognitive function, and lower cortisol levels, making it an ideal setting for self/therapeutic exploration.


  • Engaging in physical activity during therapy sessions offers a dual benefit by not only addressing mental health concerns but also improving physical well-being. Walking has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins which are responsible for feelings of happiness and euphoria. Regular exercise has been linked to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased self-esteem, and enhanced cognitive function.

  • Sitting in a therapist's office can sometimes feel intimidating or sterile and some people struggle with sitting opposite someone else and being open and raw about how they feel. In contrast walk and talk therapy fosters a more relaxed and informal atmosphere. The absence of physical barriers, such as a desk or chairs, not having to sit and look at someone while you talk but being alongside someone, step by step, can promote a sense of openness and sometimes ease that can be lost in the therapy room. 


  • I find that the act of walking side by side creates a more comfortable environment, one that encourages talking and self-expression and can facilitate a deeper therapeutic connection with yourself and me,  enabling us to work on deeper issues in a non-threatening way. Many clients have also found it easier to express themselves while in motion which can lead to more authentic and productive sessions.


  • The act of walking can serve as a powerful metaphor for progress, movement, and personal growth. As you travel physical paths, they often parallel the journey in therapy, navigating challenges, overcoming obstacles, and ultimately moving forward. Symbolism is inherent in the act of walking, providing opportunities for reflection and insight. When walking we may incorporate this symbolism into discussions to help you gain new perspectives and uncover hidden meanings within your struggles. By integrating metaphorical language with physical movement, walk and talk therapy facilitates a deeper understanding of your experiences and emotions.


  • Walk and talk therapy offers greater flexibility and accessibility compared to traditional office-based sessions. People who may feel uncomfortable or confined in a clinical, more formal setting, can find comfort and relief in the open air.


  • As mentioned above being out in nature can be very grounding, the motion of walking can also be quite meditative so walk and talk therapy is excellent for teaching grounding and coping strategies for a myriad of problems such as anxiety, OCD, grief, depression, low self-esteem etc.


I hope you can see from this the benefits of walking and talking, how the healing power of nature and movement can be used to promote mental and emotional well-being. By immersing yourself in the outside world, engaging in physical activity, and embracing the symbolism of walking, you can begin to discover more about yourself, ways of coping and maybe of healing.

I have several routes we can pick from of differing lengths and locations, some go from my office in. Adlington, others will involve us meeting at a location and walking from there.  We will always have at least one session at my office where, among the usual therapy discussions (what has brought you to counselling, what you want from counselling etc.) we will talk about what routes we may use, risk assessments, how walk and talk therapy works, how I will maintain confidentiality, what we will do if we meet anyone we know etc.

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