Licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Certified Yoga Teacher

204 G Street Suite 207 Petaluma CA. 94952

707-763-4679

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Rhonda Gerhard is a verified Psychotherapist by Psychology Today

Walk and Talk Mindful Therapy: Shifting Perspective

Walk and Talk Mindful Therapy

In addition to working in my private office setting I also offer this alternative: Walk and Talk Mindful Therapy.
The type of Walk and Talk Therapy I offer combines traditional talk-therapy, walking in nature, mindfulness, and yoga nidra. Basically, instead of sitting inside, the therapy session takes place while walking with the therapist in nature.

Processing on the Path

Sometimes we get stuck and unable to move and make decisions or even think straight. We lose our ability to respond the way we would like, and react instead.
Walk and Talk Mindful therapy creates a space in which one is aligned with an Inner Resource in the beauty of nature that provides safety and nurturing. While allowing one’s mind to inquire and recognize the fluctuations of the mind (vrittis) we tune in to the thoughts, emotions, patterns, and our physical being as well. This process allows issues to arise in the presence of the therapist, while developing one’s own internal compassionate Witness, and acknowledge our True Self which is always present and available.

What is Walk and Talk Mindful Therapy?

It is an approach I have designed as a way to walk and talk out challenges and concerns in your life, disrupting automatic reactivity, and changing life patterns. It is a program that enhances mindful awareness and inquiry about particular challenges while walking in nature.

What are the Benefits?

*Learn to self soothe
*Establish mood regulation techniques
*Process everyday difficulties with ease
*Harmonize and sync up the body/mind/spirit

What does Walk and Talk Mindful Therapy do?

It literally walks you through difficult issues, moving it through the mind/body, in the presence of an external witness. The therapist is the compassionate witness to all that is spoken while walking.

Not only does Walk and Talk Mindful Therapy work to reprocess ones way of thinking about an issue, it can help to change the negative patterns in our lives.
Part of the reason for this is that it shifts our focus from sitting and talking statically, to moving bi-laterally, specifically moving rhythmically back and forth from right foot/leg body to left foot/leg body, resulting in alternating stimulation of the left and right sides of the brain. This bi-lateral stimulation movement, while discussing difficult concerns, may bring quicker processing, making transitions easier in the midst of daily life events.

It also takes place in a natural setting. In a a recent study published by by Stanford’s Gregory Bratman and several colleagues from the United States and Sweden, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it states:
“nature environments allow for “positive distractions” that block or counteract these negative mental processes. Rumination is “this inward focused, maladaptive choice of where you direct your attention,” said Gregory Bratman, “and nature gives an alternative opportunity for attentional focus.”.

This process opens up new neural pathways in the brain, changing patterns (samskaras) so that we develop better ways to cope with stress and unpleasant realities. This in turn can translate into the rest of life, building on those tools, wherever you walk in the world.

The number of sessions depends on each individual and their particular concerns.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
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Resources:
http://themindunleashed.org/2014/03/train-brain-let-go-habits-10-methods-creating-new-neural-pathways.html

What is Bilateral Stimulation?


Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life
By Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress. By John D. Teasdale, J. Mark G. Williams
http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/walk-and-talk-therapy