I'm pleased to be able to offer walking therapy as a natural and holistic option for anyone who wants to experience therapy outside the confines of a room or a computer screen.
Aside from the obvious benefits associated with physical exercise, working therapeutically outdoors can help with anxiety, stress, anger, and help clients who are feeling emotionally stuck.
Movement of the body, and a shift in environment, can help us to think differently about aspects of our lives that have hitherto seemed immovable.
It is an especially helpful method of working for people who don't have the opportunity to get out into nature very often and those who feel as if they thrive better when they do. It's also good for those who may feel a little intimidated or claustrophobic in the environment of a one-on-one session in the clinic.
Being outside provides additional physical space and headspace, releases endorphins and is generally mood-enhancing, before we've even started talking!
Walking together side by side also means that the often hugely valuable silences in therapy are much easier to bear for many people, and that the intensity of eye contact is relaxed for those who find it an uncomfortable part of therapeutic work.
How does it work?
There are several places in and around Maidstone that I walk regularly. We can select one of these or if you have a particular place you enjoy walking in the Maidstone area, that might be possible too.
We meet at our appointed time, walk while we conduct our session, and then leave one another in the same place we began when our session is at an end. It's the same as seeing me in clinic, just "on the move".
There are a few considerations that it's worth bearing in mind.
Confidentiality. In order to maintain the crucial confidentiality of our session we will agree that, should we bump into anyone we know, we will indicate it to one another and pause our conversation until we are alone again.
Boundaries. Part of the benefit we get from being in nature is that we are, to some extent, free from our boundaries. It is important that we remember we are still engaged in a therapeutic relationship and so, all of the core constructs of our work in clinic are still present when we are outside. This is important for the emotional safety and integrity of our work.
Pace. In the same way that you set the pace when we are working indoors, you set the pace outdoors too. We'll walk as slowly or as quickly as feels comfortable for you. We might reference our speed in our work as it can sometimes be a good reflection of what's going on in you. Being mindful of our physical bodies can be as illuminating as being aware of our emotions.
Weather. I'll walk in any weather, literally, but you don't have to. If it's pouring with rain or blisteringly hot and walking feels like too much, I won't ever force you to be outside.
All other terms and conditions and ethical undertakings pertinent to my practice remain in place at all times.
Payment is via bank transfer.
It's fine for us to mix sessions between outdoors and in, or online and outdoors. The purpose is to find a balance that works for you.
How do I get started?
If you’re interested in working outdoors please send me an email in the first instance. For existing clients, we can add outdoor sessions as required. For new clients, where I have the capacity, I ask that we hold our first session either in the clinic or online so that I can become familiar with your story before we take it into the great outdoors.
If you have any question please don’t hesitate to ask by sending me a message.