I work in an office all day and the last thing I wanted to do was sit inside during my therapy session. This was a perfect option for me. I am able to move toward my goals with focus and support. I never thought counseling would be something I look forward to!

Movement propels people forward - literally and figuratively. Many of our clients prefer to take their sessions out of the office and into the outdoors. Somehow the simple act of walking while talking out life’s issues creates change through forward movement. Through the rhythm of walking and talking there is a sync between the counselor and client. At a moderate pace, healing and breakthroughs occur!

 
Walk talk therapy photo
 

Walk & Talk sessions are conducted exactly the same way with respect to processing challenges and concerns, discussing relationship worries, working through recovery, healing, and addressing goals - the only difference is our session is conducted outdoors while walking. I conduct my Walk & Talk Sessions from my Glendora office which is located in a relaxing tree filled neighborhood where privacy is respected.

I was used to sitting on a couch during therapy, but once I tried a Walk & Talk session, I was hooked! I appreciate that you let me set the pace, plus it is exactly the same as our indoor sessions except now I experience myself actually moving through my healing with you at my side. Thanks for being so motivating and helping me stay on track with my therapy goals.

Clients have shared over and over again that the simple act of walking while doing therapy and talking out life’s issues creates an environment of possibility and change. I’ve seen this process work amazing results with many of my clients. Especially clients dealing with anxiety, depression and addiction.

 
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is this different from traditional therapy in your office?

The only difference is that we conduct the session outdoors while walking together. Outside of that, and wearing a pair of tennis shoes, nothing else changes. Many clients share that the act of moving as we walk side by side helps to process areas of their life that may feel “stuck.”

Q: I am a person who struggles with compulsive overeating, can you give me a diet plan and advise on food?

As a Licensed Psychotherapist, I will work with you as a support and encouragement and provide behavioral tools as you move forward. I am not a nutritionalist, and I will not advise you on food. Research shows over and over that diets don't work! You and I will work as a team in counseling to help you figure out why you are making choices that are sabotaging your progress, and get a plan in place with goals that I will encourage and support as you move into a healthier relationship and accountability with your body and food. If you are seeking guidance on nutrition, I will be happy to provide you with a referral as a support.

Q: What about bad weather?

It is the client’s choice to make the ‘weather call.’ The office is always an option and I respect your choice in this. If you prefer to walk outside, then I am not concerned about a few raindrops or sun rays.

Q: Is this a cardio workout or personal training?

Great question! No, this is not personal training, and the client sets the pace. The focus is on your processing, and not on exercise - although getting the blood moving helps connect the brain, and clients share that burning a few calories is an added benefit that they enjoy! There is nothing physically strenuous about the session. If you prefer a slow pace, that is fine. If you prefer a faster pace, no problem – you set the speed! Will you feel better after a walk therapy session? You bet you will.

 
Outdoor walking counseling session photo
 

Q: I am embarrassed because I am overweight, what if I cannot do it?

I conduct my Walk & Talk therapy sessions with clients of all shapes and sizes, genders and ages - from clients in their 20's to clients in their 70's. I have done walk/talk sessions with clients who are much younger and fitter than I am, and clients who are obese. A Walk & Talk session is about you, your pace, and your comfort. The focus is on the therapy process and not on competition or walking until exhausted. I know it may feel like a challenge, but I will support you every step of the way if you are feeling scared or ashamed. Together we will move you toward a healthier way of relating to your mind, body and spirit!

Q: Don’t you get tired walking with clients all day?

No, exactly the opposite - I find it energizing as we move toward resolution on issues. I have my own exercise routine that I do several mornings a week before coming into the office, so this is not a work out for me, and there is no need for concern on my part. The focus is on you and your process.

Q: Can we switch back to the office if I find I don’t enjoy this? Or can we alternate from week to week?

Absolutely. Again, it is your choice to take the session outdoors for a Walk & Talk session, or to remain inside the office if that is what you prefer. I respect your choice and honor what feels best for you.

Q: Where is the walking location? Where do we meet?

We meet at my Glendora office just as we normally would for a session. Sessions begin and end on time, so it is best if you are already in your tennis shoes and walking clothes, but there is a bathroom to change in if you need that option. We then walk and talk around a serene tree lined neighborhood with squirrels, birds, and even peacocks! 

Q: How long is the Walk & Talk session?

The session is the same - 50 minutes. The first 40 minutes are conducted walking and talking, and the last 10 minutes in the office finishing up.

Q: Is there an additional cost for Walk & Talk Therapy?

There is no additional cost – the fee you pay for your session is the same fee for Walk & Talk therapy.

Q: What about my confidentiality?

This is not a concern for the clients who currently participate in Walk & Talk therapy – you simply sign a consent form and out the door we go! If by chance we happen to run into someone you know, then I will follow your lead and will never compromise your confidentiality. It is up to you to acknowledge me as your therapist if you chose to do so – the choice is up to you.

Q: What if you see someone you know?

My focus and support is on you and the session continues without interruption. Inside or outside the office, I will always maintain your confidentiality and will not acknowledge you to anyone as my client without your signed permission. The general public is used to seeing people walking together every day – it is part of our normal routine. We are simply two people walking and talking; there is nothing overt that states that this is a therapy session. I've not once had a client say it's uncomfortable, and I will always honor our time together.

Q: I really like this idea of a walking session – is there anything else I should know in order to prepare?

The only thing you will need is comfy shoes! And, if appropriate, double check with your doctor that there are not medical conditions that would prevent you from participating in Walk & Talk therapy. Then contact me to set up your first session, fill out the forms, and we will get started!

Mari A. Lee, LMFT, CSAT-S Founder of Growth Counseling Services

Mari A. Lee, LMFT, CSAT-S
Founder of Growth Counseling Services

 
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Schedule an Appointment

If you would like to schedule a walk talk session or a traditional therapy session in our Glendora, CA office,
or if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us.