Outdoor Therapy, simply put, is talking outside. It can be as simple as sitting on a bench in the outdoors or taking a gentle woodland walk. It’s similar to standard counselling, but instead of being in a room, you’ll be outside. It doesn’t have to involve walking if you don’t feel that you need to. Being outside rather than in a room can change things quite significantly. We might start your counselling journey inside and then you may decide you’d like to try outdoors. We will be able to negotiate this over time.
Who is it for?
Outdoor Counselling is for anyone who would like to have counselling and feels that this would work best in the outdoors. If you like being outdoors and are interested in the idea of going through the therapeutic process outside, then Outdoor Therapy is for you. There are no age limits or pre-requisites and it is an alternative “space” to the traditional therapy room. You will be asked to complete a short health questionnaire so that I’m aware of any issues that could arise whilst outside and we can discuss any issues and how we might manage the outdoor element of our work together.
Outdoor therapy can help in a number of ways, from the way in which you can use your surroundings to help you to explain your thoughts and feelings and sometimes simply the physical sensation of walking and talking at the same time, can free up your ability to find the right words. Some people also prefer the side by side positioning when walking alongside a therapist rather than the conventional face to face. We can also use the outdoors in other creative ways, to demonstrate a feeling – a leaf falling from a tree, a muddy section encountered suddenly on a path. Our surroundings often can be used to help describe our feelings, to find a new and often gentle way of saying what you need to.
Finally, simply being outside and moving is proven to have a very real and positive effect on our wellbeing and therefore combining it with counselling can work very well.
Where will we go?
We will be able to choose how outdoor therapy will work and I will be able to offer a number of options based on your level of fitness, health and ability. All walking options will be local to Kendal and you would need to be able to transport yourself to and from whichever location we choose.
What will I need to bring?
This depends on the weather on the day, but you’ll need appropriate clothing (things like sensible footwear, warm clothing and a waterproof). If you're struggling with this, we can adapt what we do. Sometimes the weather can enhance our work but we’ll agree in advance what we would do if the weather was too bad
So what's the first step?
I will always offer a first meeting to help us discuss whether you want to start counselling with me and whether I am the best person to help you or whether another person would be better suited to you. We’ll discuss how counselling might help you and the issues which you want to begin to talk about so that we can agree, between us, on a way of working, bearing in mind my person-centred approach and the reasons that might bring you to counselling.
Everything we discuss is completely confidential with total respect for your privacy and that of any other individuals discussed.