Walking therapy is counselling whilst walking. I also offer outdoor sessions that include less walking, but use the natural environment (the beach or the woods, for example) as our counselling “room”.
What are the benefits of outdoor therapy
- The immersion in, and connection to the natural environment provides a great opportunity for grounding and considering how we relate to the world around us and ourselves. Although simply walking outdoors can be therapeutic and relaxing in itself, the walking counselling sessions I offer incorporate counselling theory and skills into the process with the aim of deepening the opportunity for self reflection and awareness.
- For some people, walking side-by-side in an open environment can feel less intense than sitting face-to-face in a room with a counsellor. This can help people to open up and feel able to talk more freely about challenging issues or emotions.
- It is widely accepted that walking (and other forms of exercise) is beneficial in reducing depression, stress, anxiety and promoting healing from trauma. Blood flow to the brain is increased and serotonin is released (the “happiness” hormone).
- Increasingly, research is suggesting that our connection to the natural world is important for our mental health and well-being. From inspiring feelings of awe, to slowing us down and bringing us into the moment.
- From an existential and person-centred counselling approach, I also believe that there is huge value to be found in accepting ourselves as we are, right here and now. Being in nature can often put a spotlight on just being, and existing.
If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, like trees
RAINER MARIA RILKE