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AM New York: Jersey City resident doing outdoor psychotherapy in NYC
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Hi all,
AM New York newspaper (one of the free ones at the PATH and subway stations) just did an article today on my private practice and I thought I would post it here. Someone recently posted asking for info on local counselors and I thought this could explain a little about what I do. (When not producing great theater in Jersey City!)
Thanks,
Clay Cockrell, LCSW

AM New York. by Farnoosh Torabi
Recovery: Like a walk in the park.

Clay Cockrell rings up a new pair of sneakers each month. His job demands it.

As the sole psychoanalyst running Walk and Talk, the 37-year-old conducts therapy sessions on the go in Central Park, Battery Park and throughout Manhattan.

"We generally walk in isolated areas. It's not like people are listening in on our conversations," said Cockrell, who calls his alternative method "outdoor psychotherapy." Although if the trees could talk, it would probably be a different story, he admitted.

The concept for Walk and Talk began three years ago after treating patients in his midtown office. "It was actually my wife's idea," said Cockrell.

Since then, his client list has more than doubled from 15 to 40 a week. "We'll walk to their place of business or I'll meet them at their apartment? The convenience was a big selling point," he said, adding that appointments are sometimes scheduled in his old midtown office if the discussion is too serious.

Sessions run $100 to $150 for 50 minutes, depending on the time of day. Lunch time and the evening hours after work are, expectedly, the highest in demand and are the most expensive.

Clients range from Wall Streeters to those in film, theater and advertising. Most are referred by friends. Others find Cockrell on his Web site WalkandTalk.com.

"I do really well with freelancers. They have that mentality of thinking outside the box," said Cockrell, a licensed social worker. Going forward, he'd like to see his business expand and be able to employ one more therapist who'd share his philosophy.

Beyond the convenience factor, the benefits of the business, Cockrell said, are two-fold. First, the outdoor therapy sessions allow for more interaction that can support one's personal growth.

"You can talk about how the weather affects your emotion. A lot of my clients don't get to be outside a lot."

Take 30-something-year-old Diana Jones (who wished to have her name changed for this article). After a year visiting traditional therapists (couches and all), she now spends her lunch hour every other week with Cockrell in Central Park.

In the past three months, she said Cockrell has helped her better cope with her anxiety issues related to running her own business and starting a family with her husband. "Distractions within the park are actually nice," she said. "Being [there] we see 40 billion kids ? it almost helps [to think it through]."

Then, there's the physical growth, said Cockrell, since being active is ultimately a healthy thing for the body. Personally speaking,

Cockrell's blood pressure's gone down and he's shed about 15 pounds since starting the business. He said being outdoors also forces him to be more on his toes.

"This is harder, I found [for me]," he said. "You really got to be on your game. It's a dynamic active session. I'm exhausted by the end of the day."

more info: www.walkandtalk.com

Posted on: 2007/7/2 20:40
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