Walk and Talk Therapy – Counselors and Therapists in Colorado Springs, CO
It’s only been 10 minutes into the session, but already, you’re consumed by the burning questions: How much is too much eye contact? And is there a normal way to sit in a chair? Don’t even think about what eye you should stare at, it’s a slippery downhill slope from there.
Traditional talk therapy and the various techniques that accompany it are proven tools in successful counseling but sitting in a nice room on a comfy couch isn’t the only way to do it, and it isn’t always the best way.
Colorado Springs Thriveworks offers an upcoming form of therapy called Walk and Talk Therapy.
What is Walk and Talk Therapy?
It is really quite simple- you go for a walk with your counselor and well, you talk. About the same things that you would in a counseling room, but with the added benefits of nature’s best medicines: exercise and sunshine.
The route will vary day to day, but our Colorado Springs location is fortunately near some gravel and dirt trails! So, whether you want to stick to the sidewalks, or go off on some dirt, there is a trail to accommodate your needs.
Privacy is one concern for people starting Walk and Talk Therapy. Without the walls of an office to hold the things said, there is a risk for people in the neighborhood to overhear. We do our best to monitor the people around us and let fellow walkers pass or change our route to avoid meeting too many people. Plus, the neighborhood in which our Colorado Springs Thriveworks calls home is not an overly busy one, and most walks will be in solitude with you and your therapist.
Pacing is imperative for a successful counselor-client relationship. In the office, we do our best to match the pace in which you are willing and ready to talk about sensitive topics and will do the same thing on a walking session. In addition, you control the pace of the walk. If you need more of a meditative walk or a more rigorous pace, we will match it!
How can it be beneficial?
To some, the four walls of a counseling office is less comforting and more confining. It becomes too much of a professional environment where you have to be on your best behavior instead of the place it is meant to be- a safe and comfortable environment. Walk and Talk therapy removes those walls literally and therefore removes the figurative mental walls you may have.
Walking is also known to be a relaxing activity. There is something about having to focus on anything but your thoughts and emotions that actually make those thoughts and emotions clearer. Self-awareness, creativity and emotional awareness all increase when we are exercising. This could be because of the increased blood flow to the brain, the different activation sequences in your brain (some parts shut off while others turn on) and the distraction element that walking offers.
Whatever the reason is- it works.
Being in nature specifically, as opposed to exercising indoors is proven to relax the nervous system and help people unwind. It’s that relaxed state when the thoughts stop whirling and you feel connected to yourself instead of being pulled along for the emotional and mental ride that real reflection and real therapy can occur.
Mood in general is shown to increase after a walk outside, and sometimes it is that little extra mood boost that can get you through a hard day.
Who could benefit from Walk and Talk Therapy?
Walk and Talk therapy is not for everyone. Some people are more comfortable in a classic office setting, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s always good to experiment with different ways of therapy and if it doesn’t work, we can go back to the office easy-peasy.
The benefits that Walk and Talk therapy offer may be especially helpful for clients struggling with:
- Anxiety- exercise is proven to reduce stress and anxiety
- Depression- the endorphins released when exercising is a natural anti-depressant
- ADHD- sitting in the same room for an hour remaining focused can be a challenge for those with an attention-deficit disorder. Exercise is often recommended in conjuncture with medication because of the positive affects it has on concentration and mood.
- Anyone really! The pros of walking are undeniable, so the question a counselor and client have to consider before embarking on a Walk and Talk session is whether or not it will help in the psychotherapy. For some, the combination of therapy and walking just doesn’t fit. But all can benefit from getting outside and moving a little.
Walk and Talk therapy is really an exciting new advancement in counseling and Colorado Springs Thriveworks is excited to share it with you! Give us a call today to set up an appointment and start heading towards a happier, healthier you! We have no wait list and have evening and weekend appointments available to help you with your busy schedule. 719-266-3919