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NYC Therapist Combines Therapy With Exercise

Taking Therapy For a Walk

Often when I need to get some good thinking done, it really helps to take a walk. Something about getting out in the world helps clear my mind, and I get some exercise too. So I love this recent post from the New York Times City Room blog about a therapist who takes her patients on walks.

A social worker who is also a Pilates and yoga instructor, Karen Arthur offers psychotherapy sessions conducted over 50-minute "mindful" walks through the streets and parks of New York. Her patients include artists, trauma victims, and athletes, so it makes sense to combine the usual talk therapy with a walk too. For more details on her method,


According to the NYT story, at least three of Arthur's clients are already walking as well as talking in their therapy:

“We live in a very distracted world, with lots of excuses for not getting everything done, because it’s such an intense environment,” said Ms. Arthur, after slipping on her brown Nikes and heading west on 34th Street. “The point of power for change is in my present moment, and walking helps keep the client present-centered, even if we’re talking about stuff that happened in the past.”

I always feel less stressed out after exercise, so I think this is a great idea. I'd rather walk around and talk than just sit on a couch. What do you think about this idea? If you've ever been to a therapist, would you rather walk and talk?


Join The Conversation
preciousleonna preciousleonna 9 years
We all know that exercise is one of the best stress reliever in an instant. I also do that whenever i feel stress in my work. ________________ precious anderson Dual Diagnosis-
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
i live in nyc, and i'd just like to say that "confidential" and "outside" do not intersect. ha.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I see a therapist right now and while it's fine to sit and talk on the couch, I'd much rather walk and talk. I find I'm better able to express my feelings when I'm walking than when I'm just sitting there. I guess it just feels less confrontational or something.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
I like this idea but I see where Leenie's coming from with the safe confidential environment thing. But I think I'd be open to this if I was seeing a therapist.
Leenie11 Leenie11 9 years
I'm actually pursuing my MA in counseling and it really does sound like a good idea, however I would be concerned about creating a safe and confidential space for my clients and sometime you need that privacy to do the intense emotional work; not sure if walking in the park would allow for that? I know from my own experiences on the couch that the intensity of the work should be reserved for private sphere. I guess it really would have to be tailered to the client, sounds a lot like a form of expressive/outdoor therapy. This could also be looked at as an enhancement, where perhaps you arent outdoors for every single session.
franniedid franniedid 9 years
I agree with this! When I walk I feel so much better, I walk 5 or 6 days a week now and it always improves my state of mind. I have never been to a therapist but I have walked with friends and it provides a great way to communicate without outside distractions.
HollHsoontobeC HollHsoontobeC 9 years
I work as a social worker now, and I'm studying to be a therapist. When I work as a mentor for teenagers I love taking them for walks to get them talking, or getting them involved in an activity they clears their mind and allows them to think freely (i.e. painting pottery, or sitting on the beach). I think this is a great idea, as long as the therapist feels safe with the client (this can be a crucial factor).
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