top of page
Hiking in Forest

Consultation for Mental Health Professionals

 

For Mental Health Professionals Looking to Integrate Walk & Talk or Hiking Therapy into Their Practice

 

Expanding therapy beyond the traditional office setting offers many benefits for both the client and the therapist. Walk and talk therapy is becoming more common as research continues to show the benefits of time in nature and physical activity on mental well-being. 

 

As Traditional Therapy Expands Beyond Walls, New Questions Emerge, Such As:

  • Where can I meet my clients?

  • What are the benefits and risks?

  • How do we approach the limits of confidentiality when working outdoors?

  • How do I know when a client is a good match for walk and talk therapy?

  • Can I bill insurance for walk and talk sessions, and how?

  • What will my liability insurance think of me doing therapy in this format?

  • What if we see someone the client knows while we are in a session outdoors?

  • What theoretical orientations work well outdoors?

  • Do I have to specialize in eco-therapy?

  • What do I need to do in order to be prepared to integrate this into my practice?

  • How to lead outdoor group therapy

What Are the Benefits of Walk & Talk Therapy in Nature?

Research shows that time in nature benefits mental well-being by:

  • Decreasing anxiety and stress

  • Calming the nervous system

  • Improving mood

  • Increasing self esteem

  • Improving a sense of connection to the natural world

 

Fee for Consultation

The rate is $100 for a 50- minute consultation.

How Does Walk & Talk Feel Different than Traditional, In-office sessions?

Working with individuals and groups outside of the office walls feels very different. As therapists we have less control over our environment, which can be both liberating and unpredictable. The changing seasons and wildness of nature dictate our surroundings, which provide rich sensory stimulation; We may hear birds chirping and watch them go about their breakfast scavenger hunt. We may feel the same breeze against our skin that stirs the canopy of trees overhead. We may cautiously navigate boot-sucking muddy sections of the trail alongside the individual we are working with, co-creating an experience that that reveals us as being just-as-human as them. While professional boundaries continue to be maintained outdoors, the power differential is shifted as we navigate a path side-by-side, just as our ancient ancestors have done for millions of years. Being in the natural setting provides nurturance and familiarity for the nervous system, making therapy feel more approachable and comfortable.

Contact for Consultation -

For Mental Health Professionals Seeking to Integrate Walk & Talk Into Practice

Submission Received. Please allow 2 business days to hear back

Preferred Format:

Therapists Benefit Too

Research studying the experience of therapists offering Walk and Talk Therapy has shown that therapists benefit from this unique format of therapy (see: Revell, McLeod, 2017). Therapists in this study report:

  • Feelings of rejuvenation

  • A decreased risk of burnout

  • An expansion of the therapeutic relationship to be more collaborative, experiential, empowering and co-created

  • Walking side by side decreases relational inhibition

 

Therapists who enjoy walking in nature find this format of therapy to be beneficial, deeply meaningful, and authentic to their personal and professional identity. 

Screen Shot 2023-06-22 at 1.55.10 PM.png

Read More About Walk & Talk Therapy 

& Time in Nature Benefitting Mental Health:

Green Leaf Close Up

Columbia Sportswear

Fern leaf

The New York Times

Squirrel

The Guardian

Forest Path

Thomson Ruters Foundation News

Full-Moon-Over-Forest

Huff Post

Snail

Counterpoint

Additional References:

Asmundson, G. (Ed). (2022). Comprehensive Clinical Psychology. Gordon Asmundson.

Buzzell, L., Chalquist, C. (2009). Ecotherapy: Healing with nature in mind. Counterpoint.

Children & Nature Network: Nature Helps Children Recover from Adverse Childhood Experiences

Doherty, T. (2018). Nature-based Stress Reduction.

Frazier, A. (2022). Walk and Talk Therapy [Conference presentation].

Harms, V. (1994). Almanac of the Environment The ecology of everyday life. G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Kahns, Jr, R., Hasbach, P. (eds). (2012). Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species. MIT Press.

Miyazaki, Y. (2018). Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing. Timber Press, Inc.

Revell, S., McLeod, J. (2017). Therapists’ experience of walk and talk therapy: A descriptive phenomenological study, European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 19:3, 267-289.

bottom of page