What Is Walking Therapy?
Walking therapy, also frequently referred to as walk-and-talk therapy, is an increasingly more popular therapeutic practice that combines evidence-based psychotherapeutic practices with physical movement, often in natural settings such as an outdoor walking trail.
Is Walking Therapy Right for Me?
Ever wanted to try therapy but can’t get over the mental image of lying on a cold, leather couch while being asked about your feelings? Perhaps you can’t stand the idea of spending an hour metaphorically tied to a chair while the focus is solely on you. Sitting across from a therapist can be intimidating, anxiety-inducing, or downright boring to some people; by taking traditional talk therapy on the move, clients see equal. or even greater positive outcomes than they might in a clinical office setting.
What Makes Walking Therapy Effective?
The restorative and therapeutic nature of physical activity as well as nature exposure have been independently documented over thousands of years. Many of us agree that outdoor experiences can be therapeutic on their own, but what sets walking therapy apart is that it marries ethical, evidence-based psychotherapy from a licensed professional with the physiological, psychological and social outcomes resulting from nature exposure.
How Can I Start Walking Therapy?
To find out if you’re a good candidate for walking therapy, schedule a consultation with Kelley. You will receive a copy of walking therapy consents, potential locations, and available session times as well as have the opportunity to ask questions about whether or not walking therapy is the right fit for you.
Moving to Slow Down
Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression.
Healing Happens in Nature
Greenspace exposure is associated with positive physiological effects, such as decreased heart rate and blood pressure (Twohig-Bennett & Jones, 2018); exercising in the outdoors has more beneficial effects on revitalization, engagement, tension, confusion, anger and depression….nature therapy is [the term] for describing experiences that are led by a licensed practitioner, such as when talking therapy is used with a natural environment providing the backdrop.
‘Into the Wild’: A meta-synthesis of talking therapy in natural outdoor spaces
Walking therapy at The Feelings Healers is offered by Kelley Walters, LPC Associate supervised by Heather Murphy, LPC-S. Kelley works from a collaborative, anti-oppressive approach with adolescents and adults. Whether you already know what you need help with or can’t see beyond the wall of shame, doubt, or stress, she’s here for your life’s ugly spots, transitions, and successes.
See you on the trails!