Why Walk and Talk Counselling sessions are “Wellness Power Tools”

Covid 19 has challenged us all. It has been a stress and difficult adjustment for most. Change is hard, it’s exhausting! We can feel disorientated, full of anxiety and grief. We struggle with fatigue, everything that we were already coping with remains in place and often just feels harder. No wonder we all love those ‘if 2020 were (blank)….” memes! This is NOT fun.

Interestingly, as with most changes and challenges in life, there are some big positives. Covid has forced us to be resilient, creative and accommodating. Many people have been spending more time outdoors. We are learning to embrace relationships with our closer community and learning to enjoy some pleasant activities alone. There is an unprecedented sense of global community and collaboration. These are really powerfully good things!

For those of us who provide individual counselling services virtual and outdoor options have emerged. I see this as powerfully positive too. No more scrambling to get from home or work to your appointment on time – ZOOM IN from a private corner where ever you are. This means easier access to the support you need. OR “Walk and Talk”! Enjoy some fresh air and movement, mask free in the company of a kind and supportive person. That’s some good soul food right there.

Walk and talk counselling is something I have done in my work for many years. There are so many benefits that arrive naturally it can be difficult to articulate without sounding overwhelming and a little like an exercise evangelist. In my experience people feel a lot of pressure when we start endorsing exercise. It feels like one more thing to do in our already busy days. We envision ourselves struggling to keep up in the back of a sweaty aerobics class, or plodding along in misery to the upbeat voice of a “learn to run” app. So, I try not to push the idea too much. I just gently suggest a walk, and let people decide for themselves. Some people love it, some prefer to stay indoors and that is 100% okay. Regardless of what type of counselling a person chooses there are ample benefits. There is no right or wrong way to help yourself.

Having said that, I love that walking has immediate benefits to mood and attention. These effects are so helpful in day to day coping as well as supporting long term outcomes. Again – difficult to put in words – which is why I was SO very excited to stumble into this TED Talk while having my coffee this morning. Why I am posting it here for your to take a look.

You don’t have to run marathons, lift weights or join a gym to experience the many varied benefits of movement. Listen to what Wendy Suzuki explains, and imagine the potentially transformative effects of walking, while talking with a supportive ally about your concerns, goals and strategies for change. The therapy session literally becomes a power tool in your wellness journey.

Not every session needs to be a walk and talk, not any really. But DO consider giving it a try. You may be quite pleasantly surprised.

Don’t take my word for it. Take 13 minutes for yourself. Pour a warm drink and let Wendy Suzuki explain. She does a much better job than I could and I think she’s quite charming to boot.

If you feel inspired to “walk and talk”, you know where to find me?


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