When I tell people the style of therapy I provide, movement-based therapy in New York City's parks, I get one of two reactions. The first is "Wow! That sounds incredible! Tell me more!" and the second is "Wait...What? Tell me more!"
The Common Questions
My therapist friends and colleagues always ask about confidentiality first. As New Yorker's we understand that little phases us and we rarely give a second look to a half-naked person or someone screaming their head off. This is surprisingly not a big concern for most of my clients. I speak with all of my clients about this before hand and it is understood that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed because of the nature of being in public.
The next most common question I get is about weather. My standard reply is "I'm an all-weather type of therapist" because I have had sessions in rain, snow, sun, and all other variations of what nature throws at us. Responding to nature and unpredictability is part of what I love about walking therapy because it emulates life: rolling with the punches and adjusting to the unexpected.
The final common question I get is "why" and I could go on and on about this. In short, I wanted to build a practice that fit my personality and the needs of the clients I love working with. I had my own "aha moment" when I decided a 6x6 box of a room and florescent lighting was not for me. I wanted to utilize outside the box methods like Walking Therapy, Moving Meditation Groups & Mindfulness Workshops.
A Typical Session
We meet at an agreed upon location (generally somewhere in Central Park or Astoria Park) and get right to it! I take cues from your pace and ask how you like to walk. **The physical aspect of walking therapy is for mental health, not as a weight-loss or exercise program.
We walk side-by-side and wind through the park, talking about whatever might be on your mind that day. We make eye contact since I'm an expert at looking to the side while walking. You notice as you're walking that anxieties fade away and you focus on the moment at hand. We talk about practical applications of change that you can take away with you into your daily life.
50 minutes later, we end where we began. You feel a little looser in your body, more connected to what's going on, and leave with some choice "homework" that you'd like to focus on for the week.
Walking therapy can lead to action-oriented progress and momentum. I love working with clients who are at a point in their lives that they need this movement to get where they want to be. We explore what those steps are as well as what is needed to get them there.
The added component of walking and being in nature has incredible benefits and you can read more about the benefits of movement and why I always recommend movement here.
Walk and talk therapy is not for everyone. Some people need the safety and comfort of a therapeutic office space and when that is needed, we will take our sessions indoors.
I am currently accepting new walking therapy clients and would love to talk more about whether we could be a good match for each other. Contact me to book a complimentary 15-minute call.