Some things are better talked about when we move. Movement can help us release our frustration, give us direction in our confusion, or settle our anxiety. Especially walking in nature can help loosen our thoughts and relieve our fears, offer reflective moments and make quiet consideration and contemplation easier. More than that, walking can help us reconnect to nature and beauty in the world and it adds some exercise to our daily routine.
Therapeutically speaking a walk in a natural or semi-natural environment can help with some symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce stress, and increase overall well-being.
With these thoughts in mind I am now offering “walk and talk” sessions in both locations. In Richmond Hill the route leads through a residential neighbourhood with quiet side streets. In Newmarket the route leads around Fairy Lake along groomed park paths and a board walk. Dogs can be brought to “walk and talk” sessions but have to be kept on leash during the walk. Dog owners need to understand that the intensity of the focus on their work may suffer when they bring their dogs.
Session duration is the same as for regular sessions (55 minutes) and sessions are charged the same fees. Sessions begin and end at the office. This allows for last-minute changes to plans, e.g. with inclement weather conditions presenting last minute. The main difference between regular sessions and a “walk and talk” session is that during the latter we will walk for about 45 minutes at a pace that is set by the client.
There are some issues that are not appropriate for “walk and talk” sessions:
- deeply emotional issues
- acute crisis
- deeply personal issues
- shame issues
- other issues that may be determined individually
Should any of those issues be the theme of a client’s session plan, “walk and talk” sessions would not be encouraged. Should any of those issues arise during a “walk and talk” session, client and therapist together will decide on the best continuation of the session.
Requirements for “walk and talk” sessions:
- indication that a “walk and talk” session would be preferred upon booking
- wearing appropriate foot ware
- personal understanding of physical fitness level to accommodate a medium-speed walk
- carrying appropriate weather gear (sun, cold, rain, wind protection)
- carrying water or snacks as desired
- willingness to be flexible in arrangements if weather or circumstances require it
- if dogs are brought to a “walk and talk” session:
- keeping the dog on leash throughout the walk
- “poop and scoop” compliance
- consideration of alternative options in case of a change of plans
- understanding of the dog’s suitability for such a walk experience