“For a cure, man has to go back to nature!”
Some people find the thought of face to face counselling indoors, in a relatively confined space, a daunting or overwhelming prospect. Others may have tried counselling in conventional environments but found it uncomfortable or wished for a less intensive approach. If this resonates with you then Walk and Talk Sessions, over a period of weeks or alternatively a long weekend may be a helpful alternative.
I am fortunate to live in a very beautiful part of Devon, close to Dartmoor National Park with many local footpaths and ancient byways. On Walk and Talk weekends counselling sessions take place either outside in these calming and quiet landscapes or inside in a comfortable relaxing space with wonderful views of the gently rolling Devon hills.Walking
I believe that the rhythms of nature have the capacity to calm, heal, energise and inspire us. Walk and Talk sessions are based on this belief. Gentle exercise outside in a pleasant environment with plants and wildlife, fresh air and natural light, can be very therapeutic. Sometimes referred to as ‘Green Therapy’ it is one of the best ways to get fit, lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. These physical health benefits are well known but recent international research also suggests that it can improve our psychological health and mental wellbeing by enhancing our mood and levels of self-esteem. It may help to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, alleviate feelings of anger and confusion and reduce tension and fatigue. It also encourages natural and social interactions and a feeling of ‘connection’ with the world which some clients have described as spiritual.Talking
When you add these benefits to those that may come from being with an experienced and well-qualified counsellor, able to listen and help you make sense of your emotional problems, you may be able to envisage a different sort of counselling session, one which combines the mind and the body.
Walks take place in the sheltered valleys around Okehampton and Crediton or in Dartmoor National Park. Both are areas of outstanding natural beauty offering diverse environments which can be enjoyed whilst talking about your concerns. This informal, less intense approach can sometimes make talking about painful events and feelings easier.
Weekly sessions range from 1 to 2.5 hours each and ‘Weekends’ offer between 5 and 9 hours of counselling time, depending on the number of days and the length of sessions. All weekends are arranged individually to fit with your personal preferences and requirements.
The view of the mental health charity MIND, and many others, seems to be that contact with green spaces improves our psychological health and mental wellbeing. It provides a restorative environment for people to relax, unwind and re-connect but crucially the combination of exercise and engagement with nature add up to more than the benefits of either alone.
I offer a choice of walks graded easy, moderate or strenuous. The easy and moderate walks are on flat or undulating terrain whereas the strenuous routes involve hill walking. All walks offer a mix of public footpaths, bridleways, byways, open moorland and quiet country lanes as well as walks suitable for times when the weather conditions are less favourable!
I have training in First Aid and also in leading walking groups. Walks follow pre-chosen routes and copies are available in advance if you require them. Transport is offered where necessary, or you can provide your own.