Instead of a traditional therapy setting where client and therapist sit opposite each other in an indoor office setting, why not take the therapy outside for some fresh air and a fresh perspective? Therapy sessions and content are generally no different…only the setting in which the conversations take place.
FAQs about Walk-and-Talk Therapy?
What is walk-and-talk therapy?
Just like it sounds, walk-and-talk therapy is talk therapy conducted while walking. Talk therapy is often recommended for individuals experiencing mental or emotional distress. Physical activity has also been shown effective for improving mental and emotional health. I take therapy outside to not only incorporate the benefits of talk therapy and exercise, but also the benefits of being in “nearby nature” which has also been shown to be therapeutic. I currently conduct therapy in Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta or other mutually agreed upon location.
What about weather?
Clients always get to make the choice about weather. I am willing to venture outside in most types of weather—cold, hot, light rain or even the occasional snow—but I draw the line at downpours, high winds, or thunder and lightening. I encourage clients to come dressed comfortably for the weather. I have as-needed office space available if clients prefer to meet indoors when weather conditions are not to their liking and I have the option of online therapy sessions as well.
What about confidentiality?
Clients are in charge of what they do and do not divulge in therapy. Any information shared in a therapy session, regardless of setting, is considered confidential and privileged within the confines of legal and ethical standards; therefore, I treat all information divulged in an outdoor session the same as any information revealed in a traditional therapy setting. I have a few different session routes in areas in the park with less activity or foot traffic. I monitor surrounding activity and will change the session route as appropriate in order to avoid being overheard, or I may ask a client to pause for a moment (both conversation and/or walking) to also protect confidentiality. All clients have the option of scheduling an in-office or online session, particularly if they know they need to discuss something of a sensitive nature.
Is this an aerobic workout?
Although it is physical activity and will likely get your heart rate up some, it is not intended to be a workout. The pace is generally left up to the client, but it still remains a comfortable walking pace.
Do we have to walk? Can we just sit outside?
While I do believe in the combined physical, emotional, and cognitive benefits of physical activity, I do have some clients who, for various reasons, prefer not to walk but desire the benefits of being outside. For this reason, we can certainly opt for an outdoor session sitting on one of the many park benches offering scenic views of Piedmont Park.
Do you only do walk-and-talk therapy?
No. I also have office space for initial consults and those times when either the weather is bad or clients would prefer being inside. I also have an online therapy option. Please call 404-895-1525 or email Denice@walkandtalkatlanta.com for more information on pricing for all sessions.
In addition, I am a Board-Certified Telemental Health Provider meaning I conduct online therapy for residents of Georgia. Current legal and ethical standards prohibit therapists from conducting therapy/counseling with clients outside their state of licensure.