Walk and Talk

Therapy doesn’t have to be just in traditional way as we know it in a counselling room. As we all are different individuals so is our approach to therapeutic journey. What works for one person will not work for another. Walk and talk therapy is being fast recognised as very beneficial way how to approach therapy for various issues – depression, bereavement, moderate anxiety, self-esteem, confidence, life transitions, relationship issues and more.

Being outside offers a lot of benefits for mental health. These are not only from experience either my own or of clients but as well quite wildly researched. Outside environment offers different kind of perspective or stimulation. Nature has a benefit on improving endorphins in the body. New environment can offer stimuli for otherwise occupied mind. Not to be forgotten scientifically proved benefits of exercise on mental health. Sometimes it can be hard to engage in exercise while dealing with mental health issues. Doing therapy outside can be first step as you get some movement by walking.

Some people are already lovers of outdoors and it is difficult for them to sit still. This form of therapy offers fairly enjoyable aspect to the process what otherwise inside might feel uncomfortable. Going for a walk can be more relaxed than coming to the counselling room depending on one’s individuality.

Walk and talk format of the therapy can come with various challenges what are not present in traditional indoor therapy. Please read often asked questions to get answers to possible concerns.

Is walking confidential enough?

It can be. At the start of the therapeutic process we would agree some necessary ‘rules’ to maintain necessary boundaries where confidentiality comes into the place as well. What would we do if someone overheard us? Would they really care? How do you feel about being emotional outside? What if we meet someone you or I know?

All these questions would be answered on our first session to put an ease on actual outside walks that it can be positive and relaxing experience.

Do I need to be fit?

No. We would talk about where we would walk and we can always adjust the rout as we go. I am quite familiar with Edinburgh green places or even Pentlands area and so if any concerns or willingness to change the route we can always do so. The main purpose of walk and talk is to be outside, it is not a race or any competition. We would walk in the pace comfortable on the terrain comfortable and we would discuss all these in our first session as throughout the process.

Is walk and talk therapy for everyone?

No. Some people find it better then inside therapy, but for others this is not a suitable format. You might ‘warm’ up to walk and talk progressively starting inside first, or you might try it and find out this is not for you. Everything is part of the process and we can talk and change things as we go depending on your preferences.

Is walk and talk suitable for any mental health issue?

This depends on the therapist. Walk and talk therapy might not be suitable if you have a diagnosed mental health condition and being outside might be extremely challenging, if you have Personality Disorder this might not be suitable either or if there is active suicidal adiation, an addiction to substances or alcohol or a chaotic lifestyle. This comes down to keeping you safe and outside environment might not offer this.

Is it safe?

It can be. This comes down to you. I always suggest to clients to think realistically about their abilities. If you are not moving much, than slow walk on a flat beach might be more suitable than going up hills in the Pentlands. If have poor health than maybe walk and talk therapy is not for you as specially Scottish weather can change drastically. Each one of us would be responsible for their own safety and this is not responsibility of the counsellor.

What if there is bad weather outside?

As mentioned before this topic would be a subject of discussion. Everyone is different, some people like to embrace weather changes others are not as keen to. Embracing weather conditions in safe manner (meaning assessing the situation given weather conditions, our clothes and endurance in that particular day) can be very beneficial in the therapeutic process building resilience and training one self to be more flexible towards changes. I would always bring with me some spare clothes, waterproof jacket, hat scarf and gloves in winter in case weather conditions change and I do encourage my clients to do the same. Alternatives to bad weather conditions would be though a subject of discussion on our first meeting. These might be rescheduling for another time, if booking allows so meeting in counselling room or meeting online.

Where would we walk?

As I am situated in Edinburgh at the moment our walk would be in green places within Edinburgh area or close by Pentlands. We would discuss this on our first session according to your preferences, fitness, possibility to get to and according to my knowledge of the area and possibility to get to.

How much does it cost?

My fee for walk and talk therapy is currently 50£ per 60 min session.

Ask Me About ‘Walk and Talk sessions’

Please email me on evachmelikovacounselling@gmail.com and let me know what is going for you at the moment and I will get back to you.

If walk and talk is your preferred way of meeting, don’t hesitate to contact me or schedule an ‘initial consultation’ with me: