What is hike therapy?
Hike therapy is therapy taken to the outdoors. We carry on the same sort of conversations that we would in therapy except as we are walking.
Why hike therapy ?
It gets us moving, both literally and figuratively. Walking stimulates both sides of the brain to promote and maintain mental health.
Walking and other forms of exercise increase endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body.
Walking and other forms of exercise have been proven to reduce stress, ward off feelings of anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, improve sleep, relieve body tension, regulate mood, increase energy, lower blood pressure, and strengthen your heart, other muscles, and bones.
It takes place outside in a natural setting, which can be both grounding and inspiring.
Hike therapy is a wonderful alternative for those who may not feel comfortable sitting face-to-face in an office, talking about hard things.
It offers an opportunity to enhance insight, release body trauma and alter behavior patterns while verbally processing your authentic truth.
How does it work?
We meet at an agreed upon walking path or trailhead and talk as we walk or hike side by side during the session. You set the walking pace. By the end, you'll have gained some understanding, let loose a little and noticed a helpful shift in your level of stress and anxiety. Just as with all techniques in therapy, clients are able to discontinue and return to the office at any time. In the case of bad weather, we will be in contact to decide whether to meet in the office, via video chat, or reschedule.
Who is hike therapy for?
The beauty of hike therapy is that it is for everyone. In nature, everyone belongs.
To engage in hike therapy you must be physically fit enough to walk with periodic breaks for 30-50 minutes.
You will need to feel comfortable talking in open spaces where confidentiality cannot be guaranteed and not be concerned about being seen with your therapist. If by chance we happen to run into someone you know, I will follow your lead and will never compromise your confidentiality. It is up to you to acknowledge me as your therapist if you choose to do so; the choice is completely up to you. 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. We are simply two people walking and talking; there is nothing overt that indicates that this is a therapy session