Walk and talk for mental health

Jonathan Hoban is a therapist with a difference: he takes clients into the great outdoors, to share stories as they walk.

Last year I interviewed him on Hampstead Heath (where I subsequently took people on mini half-day storytelling pilgrimages).

A therapist’s work is different, obviously, because therapy tends to involve something very private, and potentially difficult.

But the similarities were delightful:

  • we had a destination in mind, but took the roundabout route
  • allowed the things we said to emerge spontaneously
  • noticed the effect of different environments (shady groves are nothing like open meadows with extensive views)
  • breathed fresh air, and
  • enjoyed each other’s company (mostly, as you’ll see if you read the piece in full)

In this time of lockdown, Jonathan is still doing walking therapy with clients. Only now they do it separately, and talk over Facetime.

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