Walk and Talk
Therapy is all about becoming un-stuck and creating movement in parts of your self that have become stagnant. It’s also focused on making connections and gaining the inspiration needed to realize your authentic self. This can certainly be accomplished while sitting down in an enclosed area though it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes getting out of the office and into a natural space can greatly enhance the therapeutic process. I have walked with clients through Audubon Park, City Park and several New Orleans neighborhoods. These experiences have convinced me that “walk and talk” therapy is extremely beneficial. Now let me tell you why it works.
First of all, it heightens the functioning of your brain. When your body engages in rhythmic movements, such as walking, both sides of your brain are being utilized. This results in the stimulation of more complex neural pathways. It also increases access to memories and helps you integrate new knowledge. I have witnessed clients have insights while walking that may never have occurred indoors.
Secondly, there is the immersion in natural beauty. The soul requires beauty in order to remain vibrant. It craves beauty. Something inside of us withers when we become aesthetically deprived. On the contrary, active appreciation of nature’s elegance fuels imagination and allows us to re-connect with our genuine core. I concur with John Keats when he stated that: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”
Finally, walk and talk therapy allows clients to put their dilemmas into a larger perspective. Oftentimes problems are blown out of proportion due to an overly myopic mindset. Standing underneath the sky during a therapy session is a reminder that all of our issues occur within the context of the natural world. We are not separate from nature. In fact, our mental and physical lives unfold in concert with the nature. It is our home.
I offer the option of meeting outdoors to many of my clients. Those who take me up on the offer usually want to do it again. Whether we continue to meet in nature or in the office the ultimate goal remains the same: to help people become what they are.