What’s walk-and-talk therapy?
Walk-and-talk therapy takes your therapy sessions outdoors. Using the therapeutic qualities of nature and movement, this alternative provides a new approach by incorporating the benefits of fresh air and exercise into the therapy process.
Movement, such as a leisurely walk, can make it easier for some people to discuss their feelings. Some people may prefer to move or walk as opposed to sitting across from their therapist in an office or looking at a screen.
Some therapists are finding that walk-and-talk therapy can be particularly helpful when working with teens and younger clients. In addition, clients may find that they are more at ease in nature, which improves their ability to open up with their therapist. If sitting still for an extended period of time in an office setting is uncomfortable for you, taking the conversation outside may help relieve some of that pressure.
Is walk-and-talk therapy right for me?
As with all modes of treatment, consider your specific needs before opting for a walk-and-talk therapy session. Walk-and-talk therapy may be a great option for people who experience excess energy or restlessness during sessions or for those who feel uneasy when maintaining direct eye contact and sitting still.
In general, physical activity and exercise are known to have a positive impact on one’s mental health. For generally healthy clients, outdoor sessions can leave clients feeling refreshed in body and mind. It can also be a productive avenue for “exposures” with clients who are struggling with anxiety.
Are there any privacy concerns with walk-and-talk therapy?
Aside from any potential physical concerns, there are some questions for you to consider before you start your first walk. Once you venture out of the office, your therapist has less control over the privacy and confidentiality of your session. There’s the possibility that you or your therapist will see someone familiar on the walk. Depending on how busy the park or the trail is, there is also a chance your conversation may be overheard.
Discuss any concerns with your therapist prior to your first walk-and-talk, so you can make an informed decision together. If you are interested in scheduling a walk-and-talk session with your therapist, please review and complete the consent form and contact our office for scheduling.
Where are walk-and-talk sessions held?
Walk-and-talk appointments are available at our Naperville location. You will meet your therapist in his/her office to check in for your appointment. You will need to be dressed in suitable clothes for the weather, and have comfortable shoes and a water bottle for the walk. If walk-and-talk is deemed suitable for that day, you and your therapist will exit the building and make your way to the walking trail on the south end of our parking lot. The prairie trail runs east to west, and you can opt for either direction. Note the western path crosses a walking bridge that extends over Route 59. You will walk for approximately 15 to 20 minutes in one direction, and then turn around and head back to the office to close out your session. Be prepared to walk for approximately 30 to 40 minutes of your session time.
If you are interested in walk-and-talk therapy sessions, please contact us.