The Walking and Talking Cure

By Dr. Raymond Zakhari

What if we combine exercise like walking along with talk therapy? It sounds strange just bear with me.

The “Walking”

Exercise, such as walking has many physical health benefits. Research has also highlighted many of the psychological benefits.

Brisk walking with a friend or therapist can reduce your physical and psychological stress.  It can enhance your feeling of connectedness, and improve your psychological resilience. Exercise, social connection, and time in nature can help speed up therapeutic gains. It can also serve as a living example of what you can do for yourself when you are not in session.

Walking, paired with self-reflection may improve your sense of well-being and reduce feelings of powerlessness. What if we combine walking with talking about our problems?

The “Talking”

Sigmund Freud popularized the “Talking Cure” as a way to resolve the stress people feel in their daily lives. The stress may cause people to do things over and over again against their interests. The theory was that if you developed some insight into why you do the things you do, then you would stop it. You may even do something helpful.  That insight was supposed to develop through talk sessions four times per week. You were expected to lay on a couch while the psychoanalyst listens to your free-floating thoughts. Asking you thought-provoking questions. Asking how you feel about your situation.  The effectiveness of psychoanalysis has come under a lot of scrutinies. Traditional psychoanalysis, critics claim, is too time-consuming and expensive. Too much therapy can lead to codependency. Excessive talking without much doing can be an avoidance technique.

The walking and talking cure

For more information, check out the podcast The Psychology of It All. There is an episode on the difference between advice and therapy. Also available on Apple Podcasts. If traditional therapy is not for you then consider walking and talking your way to less stress.

About Metro Medical Direct

Dr. Raymond Zakhari is the owner and operator of Metro Medical Direct and provides Telehealth and in-home visits. He also provides in-home alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Book an appointment here and check out the rest of this site for more information about concierge medicine.