WHY should I consider outdoor counseling?

While it is a valuable and effective approach, outdoor counseling isn’t for everyone and that is okay. If you are not ambulatory in daily life, or have a health condition that affects mobility, then we will discuss alternative ideas for counseling. Just like beginning any new exercise routine, I encourage everyone to consult a physician prior to starting.

It is vital to remember that sessions are about you and are conducted at your pace and at your level of comfort. The focus is on the counseling process, not on fitness, although that is a natural, positive side effect.

The use of outdoor counseling as a modality grew from the belief that our minds and bodies are interconnected and interdependent. Abundant research shows that our pain often manifests as physical symptoms and that mental obstacles frequently interfere with attaining our physical goals.

Incorporating walking enriches the counseling experience in many ways.

  • The blend of walking and counseling strengthens the mind-body connection, thereby boosting clarity of thought, reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, and improving overall mood through the natural release of endorphins.

  • The act of walking, of literally moving forward, can itself be a catalyst for change.

  • In today’s fast-paced, media-saturated world it becomes difficult to find adequate space to breathe, to fully engage our senses. The process of walking encourages the practice of being fully present in the moment, attuned to the world around.

  • Walking in parallel and looking forward rather than directly making eye contact with the counselor allows for less emotional inhibition and more open engagement.

  • Physical exercise releases stress, improves sleep, and cultivates a sense of peace.

  • Meeting on equal turf outside the office removes any potential power imbalance within the counseling relationship.