Welcome to
Walkabout Ojai

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Psychotherapy

Walkabout Ojai is an established psychotherapy service providing individual therapy (on walks through the outdoors, via Telehealth in the comfort of your own home, or on set in conjunction with an Intimacy Coordinator) to adults and adolescents.  

Walkabout Ojai also provides training and mentorship programs for those seeking focused insight regarding interpersonal goals related to careers and/or relationships.

Call /Text 805/290-4466 or email robin@walkaboutojai.com

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It is not the most intelligent species, nor the strongest who will survive, but those who can best adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.

Leon C Meggison

Robin Balchen, LCSW
California Board of Behavioral Sciences Licensed Psychotherapist

I earned my Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work in 2003 from the University of Denver, became licensed in psychotherapy in 2010, and have been trained in multiple Evidenced Based Practices.  I have worked in many settings and capacities such as Psychotherapist for the Counseling and Psychiatry Department at the University of California Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist and Clinical Program Manager for Rehab One Medical Group, and Director of multiple mental heath inpatient and outpatient programs since 2003.  I have also supplemented my education with extensive cultural studies/travel throughout Northern, Central and South America, Asia, Eastern Europe, Europe and Africa which helps me to look critically at our own cultural and societal norms, some which no longer serve us.

In my experience, the most effective Evidenced Based Practice I have found in providing profound lasting changes is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).  It is the basic underpinning of most modes of therapy used today, including mindfulness.  In CBT we work to explore your stressors, the beliefs behind them, and how they affect you.  We then look objectively at these beliefs and thoughts and the emotions they bring forth and corresponding actions.  We work to open your mind to alternative, rational, nonjudgemental thoughts that reflect the bare truth leading to insights that are in sync with reality.  The results are liberating, leading to a healthy and flexible sense of self and increased self esteem.  When you no longer have self-defeating thoughts and disabling emotions, you are confident and adeptly able to achieve your aspirations.  More information on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is provided on the "Helpful Information and Resources" section of this website.

Holistic Wellness Compliments Therapy

I am in love with nature and find so much truth in life when I turn to learn my lessons from tiny insects to old oak trees, from coyotes to the stars up above.  Instead of being detached, connecting with life from these perspectives adds compassion and depth to our experience in life.  There is a multitude of studies showing the benefits of incorporating nature in the healing process.  For those looking to overcome depression and/or anxiety and wish to develop a holistic mind/body approach, along with CBT, we will develop and modify a simple plan which incorporates daily walks/exercise, nutritional strategies addressing the gut-brain connection, and mindfulness activities, all based on current evidenced based research, to return your body and mind to a connected and balanced state of wellbeing.  More information on research is provided in the "Helpful Information and Resources" section of this website.

Individual Psychotherapy

I offer both Telehealth psychotherapy in the convenience of your home, and eco-therapy walking and resting in nature.  My walkabout therapy sessions are 1 hour long, beginning at the meet up point for the walkabout and ending at the meet up point (example the gate at the top of North Signal Street to walk Shelf/Valley View Road). You will need to be healthy enough to walk at a gentle pace for 1 hour, although we may pause at benches for mindfulness exercises.  I recommend you bring a  bottle of water as this helps your body and mind regulate stress.  Please dress according to the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.

Immersion programs are a sound way to overcome self-defeating thoughts, anxieties and debilitating philosophical impasses in a condensed treatment format.  I offer 3 day individualized immersion programs in which we schedule 3 days within a week where we will meet for 1 hour in the morning, and 1 hour in the afternoon/early evening, and you will be assigned homework in between sessions to create a profound change in improving your relationship with yourself and the world around you.  

 

 

805/290-4466  /   robin@walkaboutojai.com

 

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves"  ~ Viktor Franki

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Experienced and Compassionate Care

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What To Expect In Therapy

Evolution

Many of us experience feeling judged, unmotivated, angry, tearful and anxious at times. Sometimes these feelings don't seem to go away and can be harmful to our minds when they stop us from being  productive.   This can be due to the struggles of navigating relationships with others (a key developmental task for adolescents), the affects of relationship trauma (grief, strife, abuse or change) or physical trauma (injury, fires and other disasters).  Results can be cumulative, leading to relational difficulties (including the relationship with yourself), emotional or functioning difficulties (at home, school or in the work place) and even lead to spiritual crisis.  Reaching out for therapy is tough for many because you want to be able to overcome these issues in the safety of your own personal environment.  But if you are seeking to revolt from this old paradigm, you need an emotional revolution.  This revolution mercifully challenges core beliefs, conditioning, judgements, convictions and rituals.  Together we will consciously cultivate an inner evolution and let the revolution infinitely evolve.  There will always be obstacles of all shapes and sizes year after year, and each resolution you pursue will manifest when your internal paradigm shifts creating a flexible mind.  The deeper the resolution, the greater the shift.  Purging the patterns that hurt us, or hinder our creativity and productivity, will liberate our soul.  ¡Viva la revolución!

If you are drawn to the Walkabout ecotherapy sessions, this therapeutic process alleviates your stress as we talk in a natural setting, walking side by side, throughout our sessions.  All my therapy sessions are safe spaces that lend to the gradual process of growth, compassion and change.  You will learn new tools to gain an evolving, healthy, flexible mind.  I have many years of professional as well as personal experience to help you along your journey.  Please call for a complimentary consultation.  I would be honored to work with you!

"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer"

~ Albert Camus

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"Office Hours"

Sunday - Thursday 

Sunrise to Sunset

To schedule a complimentary initial consultation for a walkabout or tele-heath session, or any other clinical service, please call or text 805/290-4466 to schedule an appointment.

New Clients Welcome
Complimentary Consultations
805/290-4466
robin@walkaboutojai.com

 

Verified by Psychology Today

Helpful Information and Resources

Quick Reference Studies Regarding Ecotherapy

A look at the Ecotherapy Research Evidence

Scholarly research article on the evidence of the benefits of Ecotherapy  June 2009

Taking Counseling and Therapy Outside:  Destruction or Enrichment of the Therapeutic Frame

European Journal of Psychtherapy and Counseling  December 2010

A study of the benefits and obstacles to plan for in ecotherapy

Stress Recovery with the Sounds of Nature Study

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  2010

A study done on the benefits of hearing and listening to nature and how it impacts physical and mental health

Helpful Information and Resources

Information about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta analyses

This study looks at the effectiveness of utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on multiple emotional and mental health issues.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Proven Effectiveness

A simple yet well written article regarding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy basics and why it is effective.

Cognitive Conceptualization Diagram/Worksheet from the Beck Institute

Here you can look at a simple worksheet that is the basis of CBT in working to uncover your thoughts, corresponding beliefs and emotions, and consequential actions

Contact Me for More Info or Appointment

Complimentary Phone or Initial In Person Consultations

805/290-4466

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