Outdoor Therapy - Manchester Mind Matters

Interested in taking your therapy outside?



Why you might take your therapy outdoors….

There are lots of advantages in taking therapy outside including:


  • During the current COVID-19 pandemic counselling outdoors is deemed safer and is a way of accessing face to face counselling.
  • Some people might not like being enclosed in a room and enjoy the spaciousness of the outdoors.
  • You set the pace of the session.  You choose when to talk, when to sit down, which pathways to take and can spend a moment or two gathering your thoughts by looking at the view when talking gets too much.
  • Counselling is conducted outdoors in the fresh air against a backdrop of lovely scenery and green open spaces.
  • The added benefit of gentle exercise all enhance overall health and well-being.
  • Walking is known to be calming as well as a stimulus for new thoughts and ideas.  Being outside gives literal and mental space to your thoughts and might offer fresh insight or perspective on your situation.
  • Research shows that it’s not only good for your physical health but also your mental health too.  Read more about this here:  https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/ 

 “Behind the cloud the sun is still shining” (Abraham Lincoln)

It only takes a minute…

You don’t have to spend a lot of time outdoors in nature to make a difference to your well-being.  Even a mindful minute or two can allow your body and mind to pause, help regulate your nervous system and give a moment of calm.  Here’s a minute long video at one of my outdoor therapy venues.  So much to see and hear just in one minute if you take the opportunity to notice……

logo to show qualification in Walk and Talk Therapy

Me, on one of my favourite local walks.

A breath of fresh air

I think this year we have all appreciated our outdoor space more than ever.  There is nothing quite like being told we can’t go outside to make us….want to go outside.  Plus being told we could only exercise locally during lockdown meant that many people discovered the benefits of walking in the fresh air as well as finding new paths, hidden gardens and unexpected beauty spots.

Forest bathing and trauma-focussed nature therapy

I was fortunate enough to spend some of lockdown enhancing my knowledge and skills in outdoor therapy.  I completed a certificate in Forest Bathing (the Japanese practice of using nature and woodland to calm the mind and feel a greater sense of connection).  I also took part in a training weekend looking at how nature can regulate our stress response and a course on working creatively outdoors.

working creatively in the outdoors

There is so much more to Outdoor Therapy than just telling your story in the open air.  We can use nature more creatively to make sense of what’s going on for you. And when I say creatively that doesn’t mean I’ll make you paint a picture (although you can if you want to).  It’s just about connecting more with nature and when that happens,  it’s surprising how you might come to view your life and problems differently.  

So just come and tell your story outside or allow nature to give you a helping hand.  Either way you get to choose how you do your therapy.

Introductory Session

All clients wishing to embark on Outdoor Therapy must have an initial introductory session as per all other counselling.  At present this will be by Zoom or telephone.  This is to assess suitability, complete paperwork and decide on what you want out of your Outdoor Therapy.  Cost for this is the standard £30.

What people say about Outdoor Therapy

“I was really looking forward to walking therapy and I really enjoyed it.  It was a lovely day and we walked up Werneth Low.  I felt very relaxed walking and chatting to Gill in the sunshine with lovely views.  It was a very mindful session I left feeling calm and encouraged.  Highly recommended.”    (JC, Tameside)