Mental Health
Discovering Wellness on the Move with Walk and Talk Therapy

Discovering Wellness on the Move with Walk and Talk Therapy

4 min read


Lauren Carlson

Walk and Talk Therapy

In a world where the pace of life seems to be ever-accelerating, our mental well-being often finds itself caught in the hustle and bustle. But what if there was a way to rejuvenate your mind, nurture your emotional health, and take care of your body, all while basking in the beauty of nature? Walk and Talk Therapy offers a breath of fresh air – quite literally.

Whether you're a seasoned mental health enthusiast or just beginning your journey toward emotional wellness, our blog is here to guide you. So, put on your favorite walking shoes, take a deep breath, and join us as we explore Walk and Talk Therapy.

What is Walk and Talk Therapy?

Walk and Talk Therapy is a therapeutic approach that combines traditional talk therapy with the physical activity of walking in an outdoor setting. It provides an alternative to the conventional practice of conducting therapy sessions in an office or clinical setting.

In Walk and Talk Therapy, individuals meet with a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, and engage in a therapeutic conversation while walking together outdoors. This approach takes advantage of the natural environment, which can promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. It also encourages physical activity, which is known to have numerous mental health benefits, including reduced stress and improved mood.

How does Walk and Talk Therapy work?

A Walk and Talk Therapy session encompasses a blend of physical activity and therapeutic conversation, fostering a unique and effective form of therapy. During a typical session, the client and therapist meet at a designated outdoor location, often a natural setting like a park or scenic trail. As they walk side by side, the therapist engages the client in a meaningful and supportive conversation.

The session revolves around open and honest dialogue, enabling clients to express their thoughts, emotions, concerns, and challenges. The outdoor environment's informality often makes clients feel more relaxed, facilitating a deeper connection and greater comfort in discussing personal issues.

Active listening is a fundamental component of Walk and Talk Therapy. Therapists attentively listen to their clients, offering guidance, support, and feedback as needed. The rhythm of the walk can enhance verbal expression and introspection, making it easier for clients to delve into their thoughts and emotions.

The setting and environment play a significant role in the session's effectiveness. The presence of natural light, fresh air, and the serene beauty of the outdoors contributes to a calming and positive atmosphere. This ambiance can make individuals feel more at ease, fostering a sense of relaxation and well-being.

In addition to the emotional and psychological benefits, the physical activity of walking releases endorphins, enhancing mood and reducing stress and anxiety. Walk and Talk Therapy emphasizes the mind-body connection, often encouraging clients to be present and mindful during the walk, enhancing their awareness of both their physical sensations and emotional experiences.

The sessions are highly customizable to the client's preferences and needs. Therapists and clients can determine the walking pace, the location, and the focus of the conversation to ensure that the therapy process aligns with the individual's unique requirements.

Walk and Talk Therapy respects client privacy and confidentiality, despite the outdoor setting, to ensure that individuals feel secure and comfortable throughout the session. This unique therapeutic approach offers a holistic and supportive method for individuals to address their mental health and well-being while immersed in nature.

Can you share the benefits of this type of therapy?

It leverages the physical and psychological benefits of nature and exercise, reduces stigma, and provides a comfortable and creative environment for healing and self-exploration. While it may not be suitable for everyone or every therapeutic situation, it has proven to be a valuable and effective approach for many individuals seeking to improve their mental well-being. Some of the key advantages include:

Physical exercise and mood enhancement

Engaging in physical activity, even a simple walk, is known to trigger the release of endorphins, often referred to as "feel-good" hormones. These endorphins can lead to an immediate boost in mood and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression. The combination of physical exercise and therapeutic conversation can create a positive feedback loop, enhancing the overall therapeutic experience.

Nature's therapeutic effects

Nature has a remarkable ability to soothe the mind and alleviate stress. Research in ecotherapy has shown that being in natural settings or green spaces can significantly reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation. Exposure to natural environments has also been linked to improved mental clarity, increased attention span, and a greater sense of well-being.

Reduced stigma and enhanced comfort

Walk and Talk Therapy is often perceived as less formal and more approachable compared to traditional office-based therapy. Many individuals find it easier to open up and discuss their thoughts, emotions, and concerns while walking side by side with their therapist. This relaxed environment can help diminish feelings of judgment and stigma associated with seeking help.

Creative and reflective space

The act of walking can inspire creative thinking and self-reflection. As individuals move their bodies, they may find it easier to process complex emotions and thoughts, leading to greater self-awareness and insight into their challenges and solutions.

Focused attention

Walking in a natural environment offers a conducive backdrop for concentrated conversation. The therapeutic dialogue is often more focused and attentive, enabling clients to delve into deeper, sometimes difficult topics more readily.

Mind-body connection

The act of moving one's body while engaging in emotional discussions reinforces the understanding that our well-being encompasses both mental and physical aspects.

Positive environment

Clients often experience a sense of optimism, hope, and a fresh perspective while surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors, which can contribute to a more positive outlook on their lives and challenges.

Stress reduction skills

Walking in a calming outdoor environment provides an ideal setting for individuals to practice stress management and coping skills. Over time, clients may learn to apply these skills in their daily lives, enhancing their overall well-being.

How can Walk and Talk Therapy help combat seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, often aptly abbreviated as SAD, is a type of depression that occurs cyclically, usually during the fall and winter months when daylight hours are shorter, and sunlight exposure is limited. For those affected by SAD, the symptoms can be profound, including feelings of lethargy, sadness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. However, Walk and Talk Therapy offers a unique and effective way to combat the effects of SAD.

One of the primary culprits behind Seasonal Affective Disorder is the lack of natural sunlight. Exposure to sunlight plays a crucial role in regulating our internal body clocks and boosting the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. In the darker months, our bodies produce less serotonin, which can contribute to feelings of depression. Walk and Talk Therapy takes full advantage of the natural environment, providing individuals with a consistent source of natural light during their sessions. The simple act of being outdoors in the daylight can help regulate circadian rhythms and increase serotonin production, effectively alleviating SAD symptoms.

Can Walk and Talk Therapy Occur in all Seasons? 

Yes! While the experience may differ from one season to another, it offers unique benefits, regardless of the time of year.


Spring is a season of rejuvenation and growth, making it an excellent time for Walk and Talk Therapy. As nature awakens from its winter slumber, you can benefit from the beauty of blossoming flowers and the lush greenery of parks and trails. The mild temperatures make outdoor therapy comfortably inviting, and the symbolism of new beginnings aligns well with the therapeutic journey. Spring is a time for growth and renewal, and your therapy sessions can parallel the season's natural transformation.


Summer offers abundant sunshine and warmth, creating an inviting atmosphere for Walk and Talk Therapy. Sunlight is a natural mood booster, increasing vitamin D production and enhancing your overall sense of well-being. The long daylight hours provide ample opportunities for sessions. You might consider early morning or late evening sessions to avoid the midday heat. Remember to stay hydrated and protect yourself from excessive sun exposure, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience.


Autumn, with its vibrant foliage and crisp air, provides a serene backdrop for Walk and Talk Therapy sessions. The transition from the vibrant greens of summer to the warm hues of fall can inspire introspection and personal growth. As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes cooler, you can adapt your attire by wearing layers and bringing a jacket or sweater to ensure your comfort during sessions.


Winter Walk and Talk Therapy offers a unique sense of coziness and intimacy. Snow-covered landscapes create a serene and contemplative environment. While the shorter days require early scheduling to maximize daylight, the atmosphere of winter provides an ideal setting for introspection and self-reflection. By dressing warmly with appropriate winter attire, such as hats, gloves, and insulated footwear, you can continue to engage in outdoor therapy comfortably.

Regardless of the season, it's essential to maintain open communication with your therapist. By sharing your seasonal preferences and concerns, your therapist can help tailor the experience to meet your unique needs. Walk and Talk Therapy is adaptable to all seasons, and your therapeutic journey can align with the natural cycles of growth, renewal, and reflection, providing a holistic and supportive approach to mental health and well-being throughout the year.

Using MyWellBeing to Find Your Next Therapist

Looking for a therapist who understands your unique needs and can support your well-being journey? Use MyWellBeing to find your online therapist or coach. With our user-friendly platform, finding the right therapist has never been easier. Simply create an account, provide some basic information about yourself and your therapy preferences, and let our powerful search engine do the work. We'll match you with a curated list of therapists who align with your specific criteria, including location, specialties, and therapeutic approaches. Browse through detailed therapist profiles, read about their qualifications and experience, and take your time to make an informed decision.

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About the author

Lauren is a member of the content team at MyWellbeing. She originally began her career in Client Services within the field of Advertising Technology. Recently, she transitioned career paths to pursue her passion for helping others. In December 2022, Lauren graduated with a Master’s degree in School Counseling and is primarily focused on working with middle school and high school students.

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