Experiences of therapists who integrate walk and talk into their professional practice

This paper – as published in Counselling & Psychotherapy Research – has been written by Stephanie Revell and John McLeod. The abstract says:

Background
There has been increasing interest in recent years in the possibilities arising from conducting psychotherapy in outdoor settings, for example through the use of ‘walk and talk’ sessions.

Aim
This study aimed to explore the experiences of practitioners who use this approach, in terms of helpful and hindering factors.

Method
Eighteen walk and talk practitioners completed an online mixed‐methods questionnaire.

Findings
Participants perceived that walking and talking can help shift ‘stuckness’ in clients and facilitate psychological processing. In addition, practitioners indicated that walking side by side can promote a collaborative way of working. Hindering factors included working with uncertainty, issues around maintaining boundaries and the requirement to develop new skills.

Limitations
The sample size and use of an online survey limited the amount and richness of information obtained.

Implications
The results suggest that walk and talk is an emergent psychotherapeutic approach, characterised by a substantial degree of consensus across practitioners regarding the rationale for this type of intervention, and the facilitative processes that are supported by it. It would be valuable to develop research‐informed guidelines and training opportunities to support safe practice in this area of work …”

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