Outdoor Therapy

Our outdoor psychotherapy space has always been enjoyed by our clients for adding fresh air and/or movement to therapy sessions, and in the wake of coronavirus, outdoor therapy space lessens the risk of spreading the virus.* So, put on a little sunscreen, grab your hat and sunglasses if you want, and join your therapist for a session in the beautiful outdoor spaces just outside our front door!

Walk & Talk: Our main office complex in Durham backs up to the American Tobacco Trail, a beautiful paved trail flanked by trees. In our lives, we often don’t get enough movement or enough time outdoors absorbing vitamin D and breathing in fresh air. Using your therapy session to walk and be outdoors is a great way to incorporate these things into your life! Additionally, movement and time outdoors are both known to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and to improve mood and sense of well-being. For teenagers, walking therapy often helps them feel more comfortable talking with their therapist versus just sitting across from one another in an office. (Some of our parents take advantage of the Trail and get their own exercise while their teen is in session!) 

Park Bench Sessions: Not in the mood to walk? You can still reap the benefits of fresh air and Vitamin D by having your therapy session on a park bench in a lovely courtyard with beautiful flowers and trees as your backdrop. And time outdoors, even without movement, is known to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and to improve mood and sense of well-being. (We also provide disinfectant wipes to wipe down the bench before sitting.)

Outdoor Therapeutic Play Sessions for Children: Our facilities and campus are as good as it gets for children! Large expanse of lawn space allows us to engage children outdoors in a variety of therapeutic activities. (Some of our parents take advantage of the Trail we back up to and get their own exercise while their child is in session!) Visit our Therapy for Children page for more information on our work with children.

Outdoor Therapy in Chapel Hill: We also offer outdoor therapy in the Southern Village office in Chapel Hill. You may have a walk around the beautiful Southern Village neighborhood with your therapist, enabling safe yet private conversations. Additionally, the lengthy, shaded trails of our neighborhood can provide some respite from the sun. If you prefer to sit down for your session, we have a variety of park benches upon which sessions can be held.

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*Being Outdoors Appears To Lessen The Spread Of The Virus: [Herein is a brief summary of points from: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/15/us/coronavirus-what-to-do-outside.html] “The good news is being outdoors appears to lessen the spread of the virus; consensus among experts is it is safer to be outside than inside. With fresh air and more space between people, the risk goes down. Julia L. Marcus, epidemiologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, said, ‘We know that being outdoors is lower risk for coronavirus transmission than being indoors.’ ‘I think outdoors is so much better than indoors in almost all cases,’ said Linsey Marr, engineering professor and aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech. ‘There’s so much dilution that happens outdoors. As long as you’re staying at least six feet apart, I think the risk is very low.’ Pandemic life is safer outdoors, in part, because even a light wind will quickly dilute the virus. If a person nearby is sick, the wind will scatter the virus, potentially exposing nearby people but in far smaller quantities, which are less likely to be harmful. ‘The virus load is important,’ said Eugene Chudnovsky, physicist at Lehman College and the City University of New York’s Graduate Center. ‘A single virus will not make anyone sick; it will be immediately destroyed by the immune system.’ However, while the risk of outdoor transmission is low, it can happen.” Distancing and wiping down any surface you may touch is still important.