Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Walk #293: Walking as Therapy

I'm still in the Napa Valley. I was asked to do a couple extra days, putting on my Utilization Review Hat. Today's walk was a bit different.

I snuck out of the office and did something which has become rarer and rarer on our Mental Health Unit: I took a walk with a few Clients.

Cutbacks have led to the near elimination of our "Creative Therapy" department. One of the things we do on our Unit, that almost no one else does in the United States, is that we take walks--in nature--with our clients.

I am often told that "the walks" are the most enjoyable and beneficial part of a Client's stay. They love it!

Most therapy is done sitting down. In a comfy chair--while some over educated, under experienced, bookish believer in some therapy model (Jungian, Freudian, Cognitive, Transactional, Transpersonal, Transcendental, etc. etc.) listens.

Better to take a walk. Watch a Stellar Jay fly by. Talk about the Century Plant that bloomed last year and died (which they do after years of growing, once they bloom only once). Take a walk with a wise person and lives are changed.

Have a problem? Take a walk with someone. That, I believe, is the best therapy.


Ian Woofenden said...

Only rode down to the resort tonight -- 1.6 miles RT. Have low tire and hope I get back up the hill.

Woodswalker said...

I'm glad you got your clients outdoors and moving on their own two feet. I have seen the transformation that can happen with Hospice patients when I got them out of the house. Not all of them could walk, but they could enjoy nature and it made a big difference in their daily outlook. The world is seen as larger than their personal tragedies.