Walk and Talk Therapy

Experience the magic of  combining 3 life enhancing ingredients:   rhythmic movement,  emotional support, and verdant nature.

Find Your Ground

Find Your Ground

We are holistic, and each part of us is integrally connected, so cognitive and emotional shifts occur when we are embodied and moving


Who Benefits from Walk and Talk Therapy?

Just about everyone!
The issues which bring people into traditional therapy— including anxiety, depression, grief, stress, school, work, transitions, sexuality, self esteem, relationships, or stage of life—all respond exceptionally well to this format.  Increased energy, enjoyment, clarity and belonging are common responses.   It is less suitable for processing very emotional states, where the containment of an office space and increased confidentiality lends a sense of safety.

Walk and Talk Therapy is a powerful TONIC.  In fact, there is a recipe for better holistic health at the tips of your toes….go ahead….make the LEAP Here


Your Brain Loves Walking.  Read More



Want to read more?
   Bibliography

 

Walk and Talk is In the News:
Bustle article
CTV Video Clip on Mental Health Benefits.

Sara Walks her Talk
Wild Nature has always been my truest home—my happy place, but also a deep holding environment that heals the wear and tear of life.  Step Deeper  into my journey…..

The Experience
Wandering through a forest or along a beach can enchant us into taking a deeper breath, slowing down, and encountering that which is inviting us into our depths.  Ineffable, but very real, we sense an energy which is larger than ourselves at play —undeniable, subtle and profound.

Rooting in green nature is a necessary counterpoint to the rapidity of the material world, which has us amped in fight or flight,  drowning in cortisol and consumption, flat-lining on screens, binging on social media and starving for the 3D connections we long for.
Forest, not Facebook.

Nature IS Nurture—a palpable, emanating presence which entrains our brain-body in a theta wavelength, dropping us into the present moment and the parasympathetic (rest and relate) nervous system.  This co-regulation can also occur in contact with human presence, and is the primary theraputic ingredient of psychotherapy.  In these holding environments, we feel “felt” and a substantial sense of peace descends—there is a softening and opening as a neuroception of safety envelopes us.

This is foundational healing and counters the perennial existential angst, which challenges our basic belonging and worth.  It is here that we feel our true potential, part of a living system which we naturally respond to with love and appreciation and a longing to know more deeply and to protect.  It is here that we can explore right relation with ourselves and all our relations.  

The Trails
Lightly used trails in Stanley Park are chosen based on degree of privacy desired, energy level, and focus of session.   All routes are relatively flat, wide, and well groomed.  The Seawall is also an option if heavier foot traffic is not a concern.  See description of trails in FAQ below, and here Stanley-Park-trails-map

Sessions are On Mondays
Find Your Ground Walking Therapy is offered on Mondays from 7:30 am-5 pm.  The trails are quieter 10-3.

FAQ

What is Walk and Talk Therapy and why is it so Helpful?

Quite simply, its talk therapy conducted while walking in fresh air and connecting with nature. 

Who Benefits from Walk and Talk Therapy?

Just about everyone!  
The issues which bring people into traditional therapy— including anxiety, depression, grief, stress, school, work, transitions, sexuality, self esteem, relationships, or stage of life—all respond exceptionally well to this format.

In addition, Walk and Talk Therapy:

  • Moderates stress, anxiety, supports work-life balance, transitions
  • Engages new behaviors related to physical health (i.e., relationship with food, exercise, mood, sleep).
  • Supports brain growth, integration and function.  For more information:  Your Brain on Walking 
  • Anchors people in “the bigger picture” of their body, breath, nature and environment and increases appreciation, sense of belonging.

It is less suitable for processing very emotional states, where the containment of an office space lends a sense of safety.
In the Media:
 Bustle Article.

CTV Video Clip on Mental Health Benefits
Benefits of Walk and Talk Therapy

The Trails and Meeting Points

Lightly used trails on the Seawall and in Stanley Park are chosen based on degree of privacy desired, energy level, and focus of session.   All routes are relatively flat, wide, and well groomed.  Most have cell coverage.  Paid Parking is nearby (see below).  You are welcome to choose either startpoint, or to ask for guidance.  MAP of trails

Two meeting points have been chosen for their privacy:

Inukshuk Point Bidwell Street and Beach Avenue Moderate
Walk to Inukshuk Point, along English Bay and Stanley park trails
Ceperley Park Picnic Shelter Stanley Park Drive, just East of Second Beach Option 1:  Moderate+
Stanley Park Trails and part of Lost Lagoon
Option 2:  Easy
Sit in the Ecology Centers’ Community garden (established 2003) and stroll Lost Lagoon

 

 

Safety Measures

Our first session will be in the office, to learn of your goals in therapy and any preferences for walking therapy.

Emotional Safety:  Yes, I carry Kleenex! Crying is a natural emotional release and part of healing.  You can slip on sunglasses and we can linger in a secluded place to allow more privacy. See also confidentiality section below

Provided on each walk:  blister kit, sunscreen, water, energy bars, umbrella, kleenex, and a cell phone battery charger with standard USB terminal.

Restrooms:  There are pubic restrooms at the beginning of the route(s):  English Bay, Ceperley Park, and Second Beach Concession stand.

What to bring/wear

Shoes:  Wear comfortable shoes which have been broken in.  After rain, it may be muddy.  There is an option to walk on the beach.

Clothing: The trails are exposed to both deep shade and sun—wear breathable layers to adapt to changes in temperature from shoreside to forest.   In inclement weather, bring a rain layer.

Gear:  Sunscreen, water, sunglasses, sunhat, umbrella.  You may wish to bring your walking poles, if you regularly use them.

What about inclement weather?

If the weather is inclement, you can opt to do a phone or videocounselling session, or meet under the picnic cover at Ceperley Park at second beach.  It’s always your call, though a change in plan requires 60 minutes notice. Dress for all weather, and bring an umbrella!

ConfidentialityIs this a cardio workout?

Meeting Someone:  We will create a plan of how you would like to respond if we meet someone you know.  It’s your choice whether you introduce me and how.  You can refer to me as a friend.  If we meet someone I know, I will greet them and continue walking with you.  I will NOT introduce you.  The various routes are selected to minimize contact with other walkers, and routes change based on time of day.  To avoid being overheard, I may ask that we pause for a moment, or step off the trail momentarily. For sessions where you know particularly sensitive or emotional things will be shared, you may want to opt for a videocounselling session.

The Content of your Session:  You will remain in charge of what you wish to divulge in therapy. Regardless of the setting, information shared in a therapy session is considered confidential and privileged within the confines of legal and ethical standards and is treated the same as in a traditional therapy setting.

Casenotes:  Notes are taken at the end of our time together, and kept in a locked briefcase in my backpack.

Is this a cardio Workout?

No.  Not unless you want it to be.  You are in charge of finding a pace that is comfortable to you, and modestly raises your heart-rate without winding you.   Those struggling with walking for any reason are invited to sit for periods of their session—resting by the water or under the trees.  Exercise does not need to be hard to produce wellness!  You’re also welcome to bring your walking poles.   This distributes the weight so that the hips/knees take less; it also allows for better balance.

Sessions are On Mondays

Walk and Talk is offered on Mondays from 7:30-5.  You choose a preferred time,  based on availability.

Longer sessions:  Sessions are generally 50 or 100 minutes; longer experiences are available; please tell me your interests we’ll make it happen.

Groups:  If you wish to walk with friends, and include elements of forest bathing, mindfulness practise, embodiment exercises and an opportunity to experience biophilia, tell me your vision and we’ll manifest it together.

Couples and Intensives:  Do you feel more “yourself” in nature and find yourself more able to connect?  Not surprising!  Our parasympathetic nervous system—the one which “relates and relaxes” comes online more in natural settings.  If you struggle with reactivity getting in the way during sessions, let’s ground you in the outdoors and bring the best in you to eachother.

Parking and Buses

Ensure nothing valuable is left in your  car; break-ins are rare….but let’s practise safety.
Buses:  The #5, 23 and 6 all run to Davie and Denman

Street Parking:
Free or metered parking on streets in the Westend.  Select the STREET view at the bottom of the page. 

Lot Parking:
The closest LOTS to the two meeting spots are:
Ceperley Lot near the shelter at second beach (as opposed to Ceperley Road parking).
Inukshuk Point:  WestPark Lot under the Alexandra, 1221 Bidwell Street enter from Pentages alleyway  (next to JJ Beans)

Other


Bugs: Very Unlikely.  Unless you are allergic, this will not be a problem, but feel free to use a deterrent if you like; I am not sensitive to those products.

Devices:  You may wish to take an occasional picture.  However, this is a therapeutic environment, and I invite you to stay focussed on your work at hand, just as you do in the office

Dogs:  Stanley Park trails allow dogs on leashes; if it does not undermine the therapeutic focus of the session, it’s possible that your furry friend can join us.  Please feel free to bring up this possibility for us to explore before brining you dog.

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me