What is different about this service?
“Walking Together” offers assistance both emotionally and physically and some people may feel more comfortable talking and walking.
Yes there is something that is better for you than any drug or alcoholic beverage. Something that may even have an effect on depression after as short a time as two weeks. Something that is free and instantly available and requires no level of skill.
It is an indisputable fact that exercise is beneficial both physically and mentally, at whatever level of activity. Leading research indicates how important and beneficial even 30 minutes of walking a day can be to help prevent and manage depression and anxiety, as well as cardiovascular disease (now known to be linked significantly to depression) high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. It may also help to prevent dementia and some types of cancer, as well as reduce post-natal depression.
The Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com) and The Heart Foundation (www.heartfoundation.org.au) explain that exercise:
• Releases feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters and endorphins) that may ease depression
• Reduces immune system chemicals that can increase depression
• Increases the body temperature which may have calming effects
• Improves quality of sleep
• Helps to distract you from negative thoughts
• Aids Neurogenesis, also improving cognitive functioning
• Helps you to look and feel better
It also helps you to gain confidence, to cope in a healthy way, to take your mind off your worries and encourages more social interaction. The great news is that exercise does not have to be highly strenuous to be beneficial. Walking around the block, or three ten minute walks to start with, particularly after being inactive for a long time are recommended and can also be highly beneficial. The mechanism of walking may help to loosen up feelings and improve alertness and attentiveness. In other words to soothe and smooth your thoughts.
So how will counselling help me?
Resilience is described as the ability to bounce back and to adapt well in times of stress, trauma or tragedy. The path to recovery after any personal heartbreak is a unique experience for each person and generally incorporates great pain and sadness. The American Psychological Association (APA, 2010) describes the most important factor in resilience as “having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family”.
But sometimes I feel so alone?
The reassuring news is that there are many wonderful professionals available to help achieve wellness such as doctors or psychologists, church or non-religious organisations: for example Lifeline (tel: 131114) or Beyond Blue (www.beyondblue.org.au). Alternatively, working through your problems with a trained and registered counsellor can be beneficial.
By “Walking Together” Christine provides a caring therapeutic environment and temporary relationship support for those times when walking alone is difficult or unbearable. The goal of Christine’s service is to encourage hope. Essentially, hope is the limitless belief that things do not have to remain the same and that change can and does happen ( Qld Hlth, 2005).
Recommended Therapeutic Plan:
Minimum of 3 to 4 one hour counselling sessions in the rooms prior to commencing walking therapy. There is no obligation to walk, but it is recommended as part of the therapeutic treatment.
Mindful walking sessions are of 45 minutes duration, either at a local park in Indooroopilly or Roma Street Parklands. These sessions will include a brief counselling session, a warm up, then approximately a 25 minute walk, followed by time for a stretch and relaxation de-brief.