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Taking Therapy Outdoors

Walk-and-Talk Sessions

~ Oldbury Court Estate & Snuff Mills, Bristol BS16 ~

Peter Lowis, MA, PG Dip Psychotherapy, Dip Supervision, UKCP Reg.

EcoTherapy–Wild Therapy–Deep Ecology

The practice of outdoor walk-and-talk therapy has its roots in Ecopsychology, a growing interdisciplinary movement that seeks to integrate psychological and ecological concerns, focusing on the connection between human well being and our relationship with the natural world. Associated developments in psychotherapy go by a variety of names, including Ecotherapy, Wild Therapy and Deep Ecology.

Taking therapy outdoors presents us with the reality that there is a lot more to relate to than the one other human we find ourselves sharing the therapeutic hour with. The outdoor space becomes both the ‘holding environment’ of therapy and a ‘relational third’ in the therapeutic relationship, as both parties are reminded that they are subject to a world that is much larger than themselves. The boundaries of the consulting ‘room’ are expanded to include the entirety of the environment the participants now find themselves negotiating together. Synchronistic events can become commonplace, and free association tends to intensify in an environment that offers itself as a limitless source of metaphor. Will you choose the well-trodden path or beat a new track of your own through the long grass? Do you toil uphill because that is your characteristic approach to things, when all the while there has been an easier route to your desired destination?  Does your path, which minutes ago seemed so clear, run out?  All of these things can have meaning when the natural environment is recruited as ‘co-therapist’, as a mirror to one’s internal world. 

Walk-and-talk sessions take place at Oldbury Court Estate and Snuff Mills, a large area of parkland, heath, woods and waterways that abuts the Bristol neighbourhoods of Eastville, Fishponds, Stapleton, Frenchay and Downend. If the prospect of outdoor therapy appeals, please be aware that we would meet indoors initially, for a minimum of two sessions at which we would explore the possibilities for working together, think about whether walk-and-talk therapy could be a useful approach for you and, if so, agree a plan for taking therapy outdoors.

What I offer & fee scales

I provide psychological therapy to individuals and couples, as well as individual and small group supervision to psychotherapists and other helping professionals. 

In addition to my main office in the city centre, I maintain a consulting room in Bristol BS16 for meetings with supervisees and some psychotherapy clients. This venue is also available to walk-talk therapy clients on days when weather conditions make outdoor sessions unviable. 

For the full text of What I offer and Fee scales, please see the home page. 

For further details on location and premises, click the ‘get in touch’ button. 

for individuals

Walk-Talk Therapy

Clients in individual therapy generally meet with me once-weekly for a 50-minute session. When working outdoors, we still aim for a 50-minute session but in practice the timing will be less precise as is appropriate to the context – but the session will never be less than 50 minutes’ duration.

As a guide, the fee you pay should place a value on your therapy that is meaningful to you without subjecting you to financial hardship. My standard fee for outdoor/walk-and-talk therapy is £55 per session. This is what you can expect to pay if you are in substantial employment, but there is some scope for negotiation depending on your circumstances. 

for practitioners

Clinical Supervision

I obtained my Diploma in Integrative Clinical Supervision from CPPD (UK) in 2004 and have been providing supervision to trainee and qualified practitioners since the early 2000’s. The majority of my supervisees are psychotherapists, but I have also worked effectively with psychological well-being practitioners, social workers, counselling psychologists and teams. I approach supervision as a relationship-centred process, as I believe that the quality of the supervisory relationship is key to effective supervision.

If you would like to have some of your supervision meetings outdoors in walk-and-talk format, I would be happy to provide this if feasible. 

My standard fee for clinical supervision is £70 per consultation if self-funded and £75 if an organisation is paying for the supervision. There may be some scope for negotiation depending on your circumstances.