How Run Walk Talk Works
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to know about getting started with Run Walk Talk?
Your initial appointment is conducted in the office. When we decide together to do Run Walk Talk therapy, we first review issues of confidentiality and privacy inherent in running outdoors, including topics you don't want to discuss outside. And then, provided you are dressed for it and the weather allows (which it almost always does here in Southern California), we go outside and start walking and/or running while we have our session.
What if I can't run and talk at the same time?
Running is always done at what's known as conversation pace. This means we run at a pace that makes it possible to talk comfortably. For some people that means walking instead of or in addition to running, and that's okay. Conversation pace is variable for everyone, and finding your pace is part of the running therapy work. If you have a disability that prevents you from running/walking, I can offer you traditional office sessions.
How can running and walking during my therapy help me?
There's an established and growing body of research that points to exercise as a helpful adjunct in mental health treatment; it's recognized as an intervention that is under-utilized. Run Walk Talk seeks to correct this under-utilization.
There are several ways Run Walk Talk therapy can help. For many people, being outdoors and walking or running while doing therapy can make it easier to open up and deal with negative feelings. In my observation, being side-by-side seems to reduce patients' shame and self-judgment, perhaps in a similar process present in psychoanalytic settings in which patients do not face the therapist.
For others, the physical act of sitting still is too difficult, and the running/walking helps them focus more effectively on the talking (I have found this to be especially true for people with an ADHD diagnosis or restless anxiety).
Running provides many well-documented benefits to the brain, and I believe this may be part of why people seem to like Run Walk Talk therapy - it feels really good. Also, there is evidence that being in nature, and especially by water, has mental health benefits.
What else should I know about Run Walk Talk?
There are often parallels between the way people approach running and the way they live. Running and walking provide an opportunity to increase awareness about ways in which we might be getting in our own way. For instance, some of the things that come up include questions like: Do you start too fast and have trouble keeping a steady pace? Do you zone out or lose focus on what you are doing or where you are going? Are you comparing yourself to your running partner and having judgments about her/yourself? What are the other thoughts you are having about yourself and others while you run? We often slow down, walk, or stop as needed, and use the time to notice and work with physical sensations and whatever is coming up for you emotionally. Walking or running together is also important symbolically - it's a literal moving forward, one that you can internalize and apply to other areas of your life.
I don't really want to run or walk, but can I still work with you?
Yes, of course. I am happy to provide you with office-based therapy, house calls, or video sessions. See my Services page for more information.
Okay, I'm ready - what do I do now?
Call 424-270-5427 and we'll schedule your first appointment. You can also email me here.