Why Are We Doing Therapy Outside, In Wisconsin ?
Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Seasons Are Changing Here In Milwaukee and We Are Still Doing Therapy Outside
The Therapeutic Workshop works with people outside all year round here in Milwaukee. Outdoor Therapy or Walk & Talk Therapy works and people are really loving the idea of being able to move while talking about difficult things in their lives. From talking about their pasts to current relationships, to just general anxiety and depression Walking & Talking seems to be a natural fit for processing and moving forward from with and from these things.
There is a creativity that comes with moving and being regulated emotionally when talking about difficult things. Walk & Talk Therapy gives clients and therapists that opportunity to work along side one another. Along with that there are places in nature that naturally allow us to rest and think, without the dysregulation and anxiety and overwhelm that can come from being stared at by a therapist waiting for an answer in a the office. A client can stare off at the lake or at the skyline or some birds while they think and search for a more authentic and deeper answer to a question. They aren't hurried for a response. This is just what can happen in an office setting, I personally know it to be true as a client. Walk & Talk Therapy and Outdoor Therapy just lend themselves to let people have time and space that an office does not. I have noticed that silences like this in Walk & Talk Therapy can provide clients with much more insightful responses to questions.
There is also so much material out in nature. As a therapist I find that story and metaphors are some of the most powerful and effective ways to teach and nature is just so full of these things. There are stories and metaphors all around us in nature and when doing Walk & Talk Therapy. Even the idea of walking in the middle of winter or fall or spring provide opportunities to discuss things in my client's lives. Things like cold, snow, rain that we have no control over; but talking about what we do have control over is such a powerful and profound metaphor to go back to. It is easy for people to connect to these stories when they are experiencing it they are feeling it and living in it and we are seeing it together. Walk & Talk therapy provides this unique "here and now perspective" a sharing of time and space together in the real world to help grow and heal.
Therapists often use a metaphor of "walking along side" their clients. At The Therapeutic Workshop this is not a metaphor we literally do that, and that is powerful as well. I believe in demystifying therapy and taking it out of the closet when possible. Of corse there are times when things are very private and healing needs to be done in private and information gathering sessions (intakes) are usually best done this way too. But, the trauma resolution work we do at The Therapeutic Workshop is brief and then I like to get back out into the real world, where people live. It is never my call or place as a therapist to push people or out people about being in therapy, but in my heart I hope that if my clients have friends see them walking with me during our Walk & Talk Therapy sessions that they tell them , "Oh yeah, That's my therapist we usually do our sessions outside walking in nature."
So we keep walking because it works and the seasons provide more opportunities to talk about more things and bring that into our sessions.