Bringing Therapy and Exercise Together
Psychotherapist Brittni Fudge offers Walk and Talk Therapy near her Stapleton office, as a way to make therapy more accessible to many parents.
When Brittni Fudge’s first child was born in 2008, she struggled to transition into motherhood. “[My son] had colic and reflux, which led to a lot of crying and sleepless nights—for both of us. I had no idea having a newborn would be so hard,” Fudge remembers.
The one thing that helped her get through those early days was going for long walks around Washington Park. “After feeling isolated with a crying baby for weeks on end, walking was a reminder that there was a whole world outside my small duplex, one where people laughed, talked, and babies slept in their strollers,” says Fudge. “I was reminded how much joy I once got from exercising, and that it was possible to reclaim that part of myself while also being a stay-at-home mom.”
Today, Fudge is a psychotherapist who specializes in maternal mental health, and owner of Kindred Counseling. Through research, she learned that walking is beneficial to one’s mood because of feel-good endorphins—called endogenous cannabinoids—that are released during exercise. “Once I realized this, I wanted to share this insight with all the new moms I could,” she says.
Fudge began offering Walk and Talk Therapy as a result of her findings. But there are other reasons why walking during a counseling session is a great fit for many parents. “Often times, a barrier to seeking therapy for new moms is childcare,” Fudge explains. “They either can’t afford therapy plus the cost of childcare, or they aren’t comfortable leaving their baby with a babysitter, or they’re nursing and it’s too much hassle to worry about pumping while away from the baby. Walk and Talk allows moms to bring baby along, and baby almost always sleeps.”
Often, Fudge finds that women who have a lot of attachment wounds struggle to make eye contact during a traditional therapy session. Walking alongside your therapist is a great way to decrease eye contact at first, and thus make the client more comfortable.
Moms with older kids are drawn to Walk and Talk Therapy, too, as it allows them to fit exercise and therapy into their busy schedules at the same time. “Moms are pros when it comes to multitasking,” Fudge says, “and this is a multitasking activity that actually brings benefit to their mental health.”
Where To Find It
Here are a few places that offer Walk and Talk Therapy around the Front Range.
- Kindred Counseling, Denver (Stapleton), 303-868-4207
- Andrea M. Rici, LPC, Denver (City Park), 720-425-5334
- Jill E. Hughes Counseling and Psychotherapy, Denver (High Line Canal), 720-218-3066
- Rise and Shine Therapy, Lakewood, 720-273-5973
- Krupnick Counseling Associates, Boulder/Longmont, 303-651-1515