Eco/Walk & Talk Therapy

Eco-therapy and Walk & Talk therapy are therapies that are based in nature.  It allows you to experience therapy and your relationship with nature together and how nature may help you in your emotional healing.

 

This type of therapy is offered in open natural spaces like parks, walking trails, woodlands, beaches and urban environments.

 

There are many benefits for the client…a break from being indoors, maybe a break from working online at home.  It helps with isolation, it aids relaxation and improves mental and physical well being.  It may not feel so overwhelming as face to face counselling due to bilateral movement…walking side by side instead of being eye to eye. 

 

Eco/walk & talk therapy may include some of the following:-

 

Grounding….Taking a few moments to become aware of your surroundings and feeling what is beneath your feet, how you are responding to the environment you find yourself in.

You may find yourself being drawn to something in particular within the environment, the noise of the ocean, the movement of trees, what you feel underfoot, how it sounds when you walk upon it.  Using all five senses will help ground you in readiness for your talking therapy.

 

If you find talking difficult using what is around you may help you verbalise what it is that you are feeling and thinking.  Using nature as a tool will help….Pick up small objects that are around you, stones, shells, twigs, branches, leaves, anything that you are drawn to can be collected to use in the moment and/or be taken home to use in the form of a therapy creative piece. (Please be aware of your footprint that you leave behind in nature and only take things that have fallen and not living plants.)

 

Stopping a moment and engaging in the environment is ok too,…sit for a while if it feels right.  Doodle, draw, sketch, paint…what ever helps to support you through your healing.

 

Just taking time out to sit amongst the trees and do some forest bathing is proven to be a positive emotional experience.  It reduces the stress hormone cortisol, improves the feelings of happiness, frees up creativity, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, improves the immune system and aides in the recovery of illness.  It has been proven by Japanese researchers that phytoncides given off by plants and trees enhance our natural killer cells to fight off disease!  Who wouldn’t want to do a spot of forest bathing?

And remember if you are outside in nature you will come across things that may make you feel uncomfortable….You may be a wasp flapper, a spider dancer or a bird swooper….Thats ok, it’s just part of who you are and I can guarantee that therapists also participate in arm flapping and spider dancing from time to time!

 

I am very blessed in my local area to be spoilt with many places suitable to offer this sort of therapy.  If you decide that this is the right choice of therapy for you and we have had our first therapy session to talk through that we both agree it is a suitable form of therapy for you, then there are many things to consider.  Please be aware if you do have Eco/walk & talk therapy the following becomes  informed consent and will be highlighted in your contract to state that you have read the informed consent paragraphs and take shared responsibility for your welfare.  That shared responsibility includes the following:-

 

Informed Consent & Responsibility

 

Each client must take responsibility for their own welfare when taking part in Eco/walk & talk therapy. They must ensure that they are wearing appropriate footwear and clothing for the weather conditions on the day of their therapy.  That they carry with them any emergency contact numbers, any medication they may need and anything that they feel will make them feel more comfortable whilst attending their session, ie water/a snack.

 

I will also take responsibility too, by taking a risk assessment of areas we may use but you must make me, your therapist, aware if the area we use causes you to feel uncomfortable or challenges you in any way.

 

I ask that whilst we are in session that you refrain from smoking.  

 

That you adhere to covid safety measures which means staying 2 metres apart when possible.  You may wish to carry with you a face mask and hand gel, which I would encourage.  

 

If we were to come across people that either of us know we agree to say a polite hello to them and continue on our way. To them and the general public we are just two people out walking.

That you adhere to the Countryside Code which as from 1 April 2021 will be updated.  You can read further information by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code

Please feel free to contact me if you wish to enquire about Walk & Talk therapy.

©2019 by Dee Estuary Counselling & Support