I am Denice Crowe Clark, otherwise known as Dr. Walk and Talk. Allow me to share a little of my story and how I arrived at the decision to open a dedicated walk-and-talk therapy practice.
I first learned about walk-and-talk therapy around 2008. At the time I my therapy practice was located within a family medicine residency program where I provided behavioral health support for the clinic patients of approximately a dozen faculty physicians and 24 residents. The clinic was located within a converted department store in an old strip mall on a busy highway. The department store had been divided into dozens of treatment rooms, offices, training spaces, and a few therapy rooms. The only windows were the bank of windows across the front of the space where the reception area was located. The rest of the space was dreary, dark, damp and musty. I found myself bolting out of the office during lunch for fresh air and sunshine, and looked forward to evening runs to exercise off the stress of the day. My work space was wearing on my mental and emotional health and I understood how important both physical activity and time outdoors were to my overall wellbeing when I came across an article about walk-and-talk therapy. I fell in love with the idea. Alas, my practice location was not conducive to walk-and-talk therapy with its massive asphalt parking lot, especially in the Central Georgia heat where temps frequently approached and sometimes exceeded 100 degrees. I filed away the idea for later.
Fast forward when my family relocated to midtown Atlanta, within walking distance of scenic Piedmont Park. Now was my opportunity. In the interim I had also begun my doctoral work and was quickly learning about and engaging in research that supported physical activity and time spent in nature for overall wellbeing. It was during this time Sole to Soul Therapy & Consulting, and eventually “Dr. Walk and Talk” was born.
In addition to practicing therapy I have spent the last several years specializing in Motivational Interviewing, a person-centered method for helping individuals toward their own behavior change goals (e.g., diet, exercise, weight-loss, chronic disease management, alcohol and/or substance misuse). Motivational interviewing (MI) is designed to elicit one’s own thoughts, feelings, and actions regarding motivation and means for change. I am also a trainer and have trained many professionals, including physicians and behavioral health specialists, in the practice of MI.
Personally, I am a wife and mom, having spent some time navigating the unique challenges of being a military spouse. I have also experienced some of the challenges associated with returning to school as a “nontraditional” student and changing career fields midstream. I am a lifelong learner having recently completed my PhD in Human Services with a concentration in Public Health; therefore, I understand the multiple demands of family, work, and education. In sum, I understand how crazy life can be.
My professional affiliations include the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). I am also a PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Practitioner and a Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider offering online therapy sessions to clients located within the state of Georgia.