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Walking Seems to Get Patients in Therapy Talking

Christian Müller/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Walk with me, talk with me.

It’s not exactly sweeping the nation but this form of therapy seems to be slowly picking up steam as an alternative to the more traditional kinds of counseling people have grown used to over decades.

“Walk and talk therapy” is just as it sounds. The counselor and patient eschew an office for a stroll outdoors or perhaps even at a mall, which advocates claim allows people to open up more about their feelings and problems.

In Minneapolis, therapist Tammie Rosenbloom says “walk and talk therapy” has proven effective, particularly in the case of one patient with Asperger’s who says that it enables him to talk without having to make direct eye contact.

New York City therapist Clay Cockrell, who is believed to have pioneered the practice, has been taking patients outside the office for seven years while Los Angeles counselor Megan Brown has done it for about as long while authoring Walk and Talk Therapy: A Therapist’s Guide.

There are detractors, including Christopher Vye, chairman of the University of St. Thomas’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Vye’s major hang-up with “walk and talk therapy” is the inherent lack of privacy involved in being outside among others.

Vye is also concerned by the lack of scholarly research on the practice and worries that these strolls might give patients the wrong idea that a counselor can also be a friend.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio