Some counsellors are applying it to their own therapy practice by way of walking and talking with clients.
It may stretch your boundaries of counselling practice, however there is foundation and substance in this as a creative approach to therapy and supporting clients.
However, it's not for everyone (client or counsellor).
We know that activity level impacts mood no matter what season we are in.
In recognising which clients would benefit from this style of therapy, some counsellors have offered it to individuals suffering from low mood and anxiety.
Clients are either open to this or they're not and because Person Centred Therapy is Client Led, clients are in the driving seat. Often this will be as the therapeutic relationship has been established and is becoming a vessel for therapeutic change.
As Carl Jung said " The mind reflects the body reflects the mind."
So how does it all happen?
There has to be no medical concerns that contraindicate a gentle walk.
Confidentiality has to be re-explained for walking outside, exploring what is acceptable and what doesn't feel right, which is a good thing. It may pose some challenge depending on where the walk takes place. If anonymity is to be respected, then walking somewhere that a client feels comfortable is important. This may be a pre arranged venue.
A therapist will map out how long a walk takes in about 50 minutes, taking into account the same provisions you would if you were seeing a client in a therapy room.
It's not a speed walk but a gentle one for the time together, the counsellor always matching the pace of the client rather than the other way round.
Having water available for hydration, checking the weather and being prepared for rain outbursts are extra considerations.
If clients change their mind on the day of the session and wish to stay within the therapy room, that is entirely what happens.
Their safety and comfort is of the most importance.
What is discovered in reading and listening to responses to walking and talking as therapy range from improved moods, clients feeling stronger, more motivated and calmer, less anxious and stressed out.
While on walks clients may point out things that are often missed when car bound, chirping birds, scented roses, fresh grass cuttings.
Walking and Talking Therapy is offering a different approach where clients can breathe, move and talk through whatever they're grappling with.
Have you ever experienced Walk and Talk Therapy? We'd love to hear your comments below.
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