Walk and Talk Therapy

My office is located in the heart of Peoria and backs up to the beautiful and private Donovan Park as well as the Rock Island Trail. Walking and talking can have a lot of added benefits in the therapeutic process and can be a great alternative or addition to traditional talk therapy sessions. Experiencing nature and incorporating physical activity into the therapeutic process are just an added bonus.   Donovan park is a former golf course turned nature park that offers walking trails, restrooms, and private expansive nature.

The Rock Island trail is a paved walking path the offers views of various parts of the Peoria community.

What is Walk and Talk Therapy?

 It’s the same services offered inside the office but we take it outside and walk at  a comfortable pace.  

Where does Walk and Talk Therapy take place?

Sessions begin and end in my office.  We will walk together from my office along the trails in Donovan Park or the Rock Island trail.

How can walk and talk therapy be beneficial?

Walk-Talk therapy offers an opportunity to reduce stress, relieve body tension, improve circulation, breathe deep and clear the body-mind of intrusive, negative and ruminative thoughts and sensations. These sessions can help you decrease anxiety, regulate mood, enjoy more restful sleep and more. Additionally, you can receive the feel-good brain chemical benefits of exercise, mindfulness practice and eco-psychology. In session, you can enhance insight, release body trauma and alter behavior patterns while verbally processing.

Is it private?

Taking therapy outside of the office does limit some aspects of confidentiality. I cannot guarantee that we will not run into other people or acquaintances in the neighboring park and trail, but just like in any situation- I would never acknowledge my role as a therapist to anyone and would always follow your lead on how you approach my role to others. There is a separate consent form for this type of therapy.

What is the fee for Walk and Talk Therapy?

The fee is the same as therapy inside the office.

I don’t want to get sweaty

The movement in these sessions is easygoing, designed to facilitate the psychotherapy process. Your walk-talk experiences are created just for you, reflecting your goals, interests, and state of being at the time we meet. You’ll set the pace and I’ll follow your lead.

What do I need to bring for Walk and Talk Therapy?

Just wear comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle if you’d like one.

Can I bring my dog?

While dogs are not permitted in the office building , I am open to having your dog join us depending on the temperament of your dog.

What if I schedule a Walk & Talk session but the weather is bad or I just don’t feel like walking when my appointment comes up?

That’s okay.  We can stay in the office if that’s what you’re feeling you need at the time of your appointment.  Walk & Talk sessions begin and end at my office and if you decide you’d rather stay there, it’s an easy adjustment to make.    

Can you give me nutritional advice or physical training?

My role as therapist does not change even though the location of our work does.  I am not a nutritionist or a physical trainer although I can provide you with referrals if that’s what you are looking for.     

If you are interested in taking your physical wellness to the next level you can check out YouAre | Well

“While it is amazing that movement can completely transform our physical health, the mental health benefits should not be overshadowed. In order to reach peak health, we need both components of our wellness to be tended to. Through the movement of our bodies, a transformation will begin to take place in both our mind and bodies.”

Samantha Walters

YouAre | Well is an amazing local company dedicated to making all aspects of health a priority in your life.  They offer training services, as well as host a weekly Monday podcast called Woven. Steadfast Counseling is excited to recommend this service to clients looking to add a physical well being supplement to the mental well being work they are doing in therapy. To learn more about them, read the bio of the Director of YouAre | Well below or click here to visit their website.

From Samantha Walters- Director of YouAre | Well :

“When I first entered the fitness “world,” all I was focused on was losing weight, even though I was at a point in my life where I didn’t need to. To me, that’s all exercise was about- a tool to change our physical appearance. Soon after I formed disciplined habits around exercise, I began to develop an extremely toxic relationship with it, as well. I would use it as a way to abuse my body instead of celebrating it and the amazing things that it is capable of. I wouldn’t give myself any recovery, despite my body running on fumes. At some point, I realized that I needed to break out of this cynical cycle.

It was at this time that I was also struggling with an eating disorder. After completing my recovery in 2019, I essentially had to relearn what exercise was. No longer was it a way to burn off as many calories as I could or a way for myself to “earn” food. Instead, my perspective changed. No longer was I working out to fit in with some sort of societal beauty standard that seemed near impossible to reach. I was now working out because my body deserved it. 

We all know that with exercise comes tremendous (non-appearance based) physical benefits, such as improving our cardiovascular function, increasing our metabolisms, strengthening our bones and muscles- the list truly can go on and on. But just as amazing and important is the impact that exercise has on our minds. 

As someone who has been diagnosed with depression since I was 18, I never was able to truly develop healthy coping mechanisms when it came to managing my mental illness. I would resort to unhealthy behaviors that only worked to perpetuate these harmful mindsets rather than heal them. Once I stopped viewing exercise as simply a way to alter myself physically and instead looked at it as a tool to aid in bettering my physical and mental health, my world was changed. 

Through research, we have learned that exercise helps improve our mood and self-esteem, sharpens our memory and thinking, allows us to build our resilience, and even more. While it is amazing that movement can completely transform our physical health, the mental health benefits should not be overshadowed. In order to reach peak health, we need both components of our wellness to be tended to. Through the movement of our bodies, a transformation will begin to take place in both our mind and bodies.”