Walk&talk combines the benefits of traditional psychological counseling and body-oriented work. We address the issue at hand by constantly trying to read our body’s feedback as we walk. And all this in the fresh air, in any weather.
I first encountered the method of outdoor experiential education in 2000, at that time in the form of outdoor training. I knew immediately that this is what I wanted to do – because I support people on their development path, and I do it actively, through experiential learning, in the great outdoors.
I have come a long way since then, becoming part of the international adventure therapy movement, representing Hungary through our foundation, and organizing and leading a number of adventure and wilderness therapy programs for young people in foster care and people living with psychiatric diagnoses.
Supportive work with nature and its symbols is also an important element of the IOA methodology (www.ioa.at). During the expeditions (several days with overnight camping outdoors), I had many supportive conversations with members of our groups while we were backpacking. This made me realize the importance of and opportunities to specifically discuss problems, questions, or goals while on the move. The medium in which we move can also serve as a metaphor for the issue being addressed.
According to Watzlawick’s First Axiom, „you cannot not communicate,” meaning that the observer can see the state of another person even when they are not consciously present in certain situations or choose not to communicate. In this case, we can see that the person is trying to avoid the situation and not show itself, and this obviously has an informative content.
During the walk, the pace the client chooses, the frequency of breathing and the speed of speaking is also important information. Walking becomes a kind of mindfulness exercise, consciously focusing attention on oneself and the environment.