Walk and talk therapy: a pluralistic inquiry into practice, perceptions and client experiences in the UK

PhD Thesis

Revell, S. 2019. Walk and talk therapy: a pluralistic inquiry into practice, perceptions and client experiences in the UK. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences
AuthorsRevell, S.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification namePhD

There has been increasing interest in recent years in the possibilities arising from conducting psychotherapy in outdoor settings. Walk and talk is a therapeutic activity that utilises the interactional effects of physical movement within in outdoor settings from the context of an intentional therapeutic relationship (Doucette, 2004; McKinney, 2011; Revell & McLeod, 2016, 2017). Research exploring the benefits and utility of walk and talk therapy is in its infancy, despite the growing number of therapists choosing to integrate this activity into their professional practice.

The main aim of this research, is to explore the practice of walk and talk therapy from three different perspectives within a UK context. First, to explore experiences of therapists who integrate walk and talk into their professional practice. Second, to explore the perceptions of walk and talk held by potential clients of therapy. Third, to explore a client’s experience of participating in walk and talk. Methodological pluralism is employed to explore these multiple perspectives.

Findings from therapists who participate in walk and talk with their clients, highlight some of the interactional mechanisms that are present within this therapeutic activity. Findings from the study of potential clients, contributes valuable understanding of potential barriers that may prevent individuals taking part in walk and talk therapy. Furthermore, findings indicate that individuals who have a strong environmental identity or who hold positive beliefs and attitudes about walking in outdoor environments, may be more likely to consider walk and talk as a useful therapeutic activity. Findings from a client’s experience shows how walk and talk can offer an opportunity for different types of therapeutic exploration that may be suited to individuals who respond to engaging in psychological processes through bodily movement or who prefer to be in outdoor settings. Recommendations for future research that would build upon these findings are suggested.

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Publication process dates
Deposited21 Jun 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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