WHERE does outdoor counseling take place?
All initial consultations are held at a predetermined, mutually agreed upon venue. During this session I ask pointed questions to gain an overall understanding of who you are, your history, and what challenges you currently face. In collaboration we formulate goals for counseling and determine a general guiding path through which to achieve those goals. We also address any questions you have regarding how counseling works as well as discuss the inherent limits to confidentiality that exist with sessions being held in a more public environment than the privacy of an office. Should you encounter anyone you know during our time together I will always defer to you on how to handle the situation. I deeply value your trust and confidentiality and will respect how you choose to proceed. Should I be approached, I will not make introductions and will quickly disengage from any conversation. Most clients believe the benefits of outdoor counseling far outweigh any risk to confidentiality. Walking is so commonplace that there is no way of presuming it’s a counseling session and the risk isn’t significantly more than having someone see you entering a counselor’s office.
Should outdoor counseling be the chosen course, all subsequent sessions will be held at a predetermined location agreed upon by both of us. Please keep in mind that session length, objectives and techniques will be identical to those utilized within the traditional counseling setting. Be prepared to be on your feet for much of the session. You are always in charge of the pace of walking and I encourage you to let me know if you ever need to stop and rest.
While I am flexible in location, I only consider those which offer discretion for conversation, provide comfortable terrain for walking, and present a naturally therapeutic environment to encourage reflection. Spaces for consideration include, but are not limited to, the following: Clinton Lake Trail System, the Levee, and the Lawrence River Trail.