Walk + Talk Therapy | Columbia, Missouri

What is Walk + Talk Therapy?

Moving towards healing, growth and happiness! It's time to take steps in the right direction.

Walk + Talk Therapy is exactly like it sounds. Walk and Talk Therapy is a unique practice which combines traditional talk therapy with the physical movement, walking. 


We take the wonderful work we do in sessions outside the office and into the world. Walk and Talk Sessions are conducted in exactly the same way as in-office psychotherapy sessions. The only difference is we will be walking outdoors at your pace. The simple act of walking side by side as you discuss life issues helps to create change through forwarding movement. 


The emphasis of Walk + Talk Therapy is always on the deeper psychotherapy work we are doing. While any benefits from walking should be seen as an added secondary benefit!


Instead of just sitting and talking about change, let's move forward - literally! I have found being outdoors adding in movement enriches the counseling session. Many clients find it easier to talk and reflect on their life while walking. It's also simply more enjoyable than sitting in the office.  


If you're like many of my clients you're tired of sitting down. You've been sitting all day, trapped in an office, behind a desk or in the car. You want to be able to move, breath and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. You want to be able to share the hard stuff more naturally.


There is tons of research extolling the benefits of physical movement, not just for your physical health but also for your brain and mental health. 


Who would benefit from Walk + Talk Therapy?


Walk Talk Therapy is an excellent choice for clients with several different kinds of issues. Clients who are experiencing: Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, Trauma, PTSD, Adjustment or Life Transition, Self-Esteem among others. 


Consider Walk and Talk Therapy if you want to jump-start your wellness by establishing healthy habits, increasing movement and physical activity, and take a more creative approach to therapy in nature


Do you prefer large open spaces outdoors rather than an office setting or if you'd like to take both psychological and tangible steps towards your goals before you leave each session, Walk and Talk Therapy is for you. 


You can read more about the benefits of walk and talk therapy below.

Learn More

Here are a couple of articles which can provide some information on Walk and Talk Therapy, which has also been refereed to as Walk + Talk Therapy, Nature Walk Therapy among other names.


Walk and Talk Therapy: Good for the Mind & Body by Suzanne Wright 


Depression & Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms


What are the Benefits of Walk+Talk Therapy?

Walk + Talk Therapy | Supporting Your Physical, Emotional and Psychological Health & Welling

  • Walk and Talk Therapy gets you moving—both literally and figuratively.
  • Wonderful alternative if you don't feel comfortable sitting face-to-face in an office discussing the hard stuff your facing. 
  • If traditional therapy didn't work well in the past.
  • Movement during sessions can help get you "unstuck" when confronting personal issues.
  • Walking stimulates both sides of the brain (bilateral stimulation) to promote and maintain mental health.
  • Completing tasks which supports your goals during sessions increases self-efficacy, the belief in your ability to accomplish your goals.
  • Walking increases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the body and resulting in improved mood.
  • Highlights the vital link between your physical and mental health, resulting in a more holistic approach to wellness.
  • Walking, like other forms of exercise, has been proven to reduce stress, prevent or reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, lower blood pressure, and strengthen your heart, and bones.
  • Walking and other forms of exercise also serve as preventative measures for stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Being outdoors and in nature can be meditative, grounding and inspiring.


Still have some questions? Would you like to know more. Check out the frequently asked questions below!


You may also contact me directed at (573) 505-0071 or email me at elizabeth@hockercounseling.com and I'd be happy to answer all of your questions or help you schedule an appointment!

Walk+Talk Therapy | Frequently Asked Questions

Where do walk and talk therapy sessions happen?

My office is located in Columbia, Missouri. Typically, we would meet at Shelter Gardens or Stephens Lake Park. Shelter Gardens is located down the road from my office, not far from I70 Highway while Stephens Lake Park is located near Broadway, not far from I63 Highway. 


Both locations provide a beautiful outdoor space filled with vibrant colors and rich scenery as well as the gentle sounds of nature. Each provides spacious walkways, benches, shaded areas and free accessible parking


Although these locations have been optimal thus far, you have another location you'd prefer to walk I'd be more than happy to discuss this with you.

What about bad weather?


We will discuss a backup plan before scheduling our first session. The backup plan can include using my office, an indoor walking space like a gym, or an online video or phone session. 


As you know, Missouri weather is ever changing and can be unpredictable. Your health and safety is a priority. As long as you and I are safe to walk outside in the current weather condition, we can walk outside as planned. I am not bothered by light rain or warm weather. However, if you'd prefer not to walk outside due to weather conditions, we always have a backup plan in place. 

Is this a cardio workout? Or Intense Exercise?

No! This is a leisurely walk and you can set the pace. I am NOT a physical trainer and this is NOT an exercise plan. While we walk we stay focused on talking, but also reap the benefits of leisurely physical movement and being outside!


While Walk and Talk Therapy can provide the boost you need to kick start your goals towards exercise, weightless, or overall healthy and well-being; walking should be viewed as an added secondary benefit to psychotherapy.

What if I'm just too tired to walk or I don't want to go outside?

We have all had those days where we just aren't feeling it! I get it. Trust me. If you'd like to just site outside under the shade in the grass or a bench we can. Or if you'd like to be inside we can meet at my office. We can always use our backup plan!

What should I wear?

Dress how you want in whatever makes you feel comfortable. 


If you're just getting off work or going back to the office after our session, you might be dressed to impress for work. That's fine. Or you might prefer to dress casually in sweats or workout gear. That's fine too. 


Whatever you choose to wear I'd encourage you to throw on a pair of comfortable shoes and clothes appropriate for the weather. Feel free to be comfortable and be you.


When I do Walk and Talk Sessions, I prefer to dress down when possible. So you might see me in causal loose fitted shirts or workout pants. I might be wearing makeup or if its really hot outside I might have skipped it in favor of not having mascara run down my face. This isn't a fashion show and I'm not here to judge.

What else should I know?

Walk and Talk sessions are the same as typical office sessions as far as length, scheduling, and cost.  The biggest difference is confidentiality. Since we are walking in public, I can't control what others might hear or who we see. 


Generally, this isn't a problem. It's not obvious that I am your therapist. I promise I won't be wearing a big neon pink t-shirt with THERAPIST across the front.  But all kidding aside...


I highly value your right to confidentiality and privacy. Although, there's always a chance you or I could see someone we know if we are out walking there are steps we can and will take to protect your privacy. We can discuss this further once we connect!