Outdoor Therapy, simply put, is walking and talking. It is much the same as standard counselling, but instead of being in a room, you will be outside.
Who is it for?
Anyone who would like to have counselling and is keen on being outdoors. This may be for depression, anxiety, family or relationship problems, because you are feeling unable to cope, or have any other concerns. Our counsellors can help you to make sense of life again and enable you to feel that things are less overwhelming.
If you like being outdoors and are interested in the idea of going through the therapeutic process outside, then Outdoor Therapy is for you. There are no age limits or pre-requisites. You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire with your counsellor so that they know of any issues that could arise whilst out walking, which might determine where you can go, but will not affect whether you can have therapy outdoors.
The benefits of having a therapy session outdoors are numerous. For example, you can use your surroundings to inspire your thoughts; a steep hill ahead may represent the struggle that you are going through in life, so reaching the top could feel like a great achievement. You may also use the surrounding environment in a creative way such as building a sculpture to show how you are feeling, if you are struggling to put it into words. Some clients find being outdoors is a relaxing way to talk about deep or difficult issues because they are walking alongside their therapist rather than being face to face with them. Finally, simply getting outside and doing some exercise has proven to have a great impact on mental health, so combining that with counselling can have a very positive affect.
Where will we go?
You and your therapist can pick from a number of route options based on your level of fitness, health and ability. All walking options will be local to Kendal, but some may be further than others. You will need to ensure that you can transport yourself to and from whichever location you choose, if you have chosen a location that is outside Kendal.
What will I need to bring?
This depends on the weather on the day, but you could bring waterproofs, water, food and spare layers. If you don't have any of this equipment, we can adapt the walk accordingly. You would also need to ensure that you have got good footwear and any personal medications. Whilst the weather can be part of the challenge of the outdoors, at times when it is too bad to go out walking, you and your therapist can decide to have the session indoors instead, so as to avoid being too uncomfortable!