Outdoor Counselling (sometimes referred to as Ecotherapy) is the use of the natural world to support and often enhance the traditional therapeutic process.
By moving the session outdoors, we work through your concerns as we would do indoors, also benefitting from the environment, the quiet and the fresh air.
It’s worth noting that Ecotherapy is a broad term that covers many different ways of working, however, I primarily offer walking therapy sessions.
We will start off at my indoor space in Hythe for a briefing session (only need to do this once) before heading out on a circular route that takes us away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
I have two walks available, one of approximately 3.38Km (2.1 mi), or we can have an extended session and walk approximately 7.3Km (4.54 mi) which some people find to be more productive; this is very much an individual preference. The walk lasts about 50 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes respectively, depending on how fast we walk.
I would strongly advise the use of sensible footwear! You don’t have to go ‘pro’, but 50 minutes walking in work shoes can be a little uncomfortable; this is, however, a suggestion and not a requirement.
This is in no way a boot camp style training session! The focus is on Therapy, and not the exercise (that’s just an added bonus).
We will walk at your pace and there are places to rest along the way.
If you would like an extended session, but feel unable to walk the extra distance, I would be happy to offer the standard walk with a 20 minute stop at the half-way point.
A good question! The idea behind the walking session is to ‘get away from it all’ and therefore there are no toilets available on the route.
There are public toilets available in Hythe, so I advise that you make use of this before we head out, I have made the mistake of drinking a large coffee and then going for a long walk, so I speak from experience!
It is said that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing; if you’re happy with the rain, then so am I!
In fact, different weather can bring out different feelings and can really help the process. If it really is too much to go out in, we will use my room in Hythe or reschedule.
It’s an inescapable fact that during Walking Therapy, we may bump into other people, usually people walking their dogs. This doesn’t happen very often and most people just smile and walk past, but you should take it into consideration before engaging in the session. We will discuss this and other things during the initial meeting.
No pressure at all, we can use my traditional indoor space instead.
I try to process my walking session in the same way that I would price an indoor session:
The standard walk (3.38Km/2.1mi) costs £40 per session
The extended walk (7.3Km/4.54mi) costs £60 per session
Payment can be made via bacs, cash or if you prefer I can take a card payment.
The available research for walking/outdoor therapy is growing.
Hays (1999) states that walking has huge psychological benefits. There are several books available to purchase that deal specifically with this type of therapeutic approach.