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

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Robin Balchen, LCSW

Licensed Psychotherapist

I am a psychotherapist and since 2003 have specialized in releasing adults and adolescents from their struggles with self-esteem/self doubt, grief/trauma, and depression.

 

Walkabouts:  I provide psychotherapy sessions on walks alongside one another outside in nature,  sometimes sitting near a stream or under a shady tree, to incorporate movement and fresh air into healing insights.

 

Traditional Psychotherapy Sessions:  I provide psychotherapy sessions via "telehealth" (phone or video) for those who feel more comfortable in the privacy of their own homes.

 

 

 

Consultation:  I provide goal focused mentorship and consultation to those seeking to improve their interpersonal relationships or reach their career goals.

 

Training Courses:  I provide 8-12 week individual courses on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Relationship Trauma, and Holistic Wellness (movement, nutrition and mindfulness).

 

Counseling in tandem with Intimacy Coordinator:  In coordination with Shana Jacobs, Intimacy Coordinator, I work with artists on set to provide advocacy and trauma informed care for those navigating sexual intimacy scenes on screen. 

 

 (805)290-4466 / robin@walkaboutojai.com

Verified by Psychology Today

My Qualifications

Experienced and Compassionate Care

Clinician, Clinical Manager and Director

After working as a counselor and case manager for adolescents in inpatient and residential programs, I went on to receive my Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work in 2003 from the University of Denver.  In addition, I have been trained in multiple Evidenced Based Practices, Crisis Management Interventions and Administrators Licenses.  I have worked in many settings and capacities such as Clinician/Psychotherapist for the Counseling and Psychiatry Department at the University of California Santa Cruz, Clinician 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 travel throughout the planet.

Training, Educating, Consulting

I have provided clinical expertise, training and education throughout California, including training law enforcement in the San Jose Police Department's Crisis Intervention Team, trainings for hospital and inpatient residential staff, consulting for human rights attorneys at the Silicon Valley Law Foundation, Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at San Jose State University, and completing psychiatric assessments and therapy at multiple hospitals and medical groups.  I currently provide client mentorship, consultation, clinical supervision, and training.   

Modes of Therapy

I have been trained in multiple modes of therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) I find most effective with adults and developmentally appropriate adolescents.  It is the basic underpinning of most evidenced based practices used today, including mindfulness.  In CBT we work to explore your stressors, the beliefs behind them, and how they affect you.  We then challenge these thoughts and beliefs with mindfulness exercises, which in effect changes the emotions they bring forth and corresponding actions.  We work to open your mind to objective, 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.  When you no longer have toxic 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

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, 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 balanced state of wellbeing.  More information on research is provided in the "Helpful Information and Resources" section of this website.

Individual Psychotherapy

Sessions

Since 2003, I have provided clients a wide range of individualized psychological and counseling services to find their strengths, develop emotional awareness, understand attachment types and languages of love, and to celebrate their unique human-ness to move on inspired and free.  I also provide specific goal oriented training (8-12 sessions) to assist those seeking to break free of self-doubt and judgment with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  When you are ready to seek professional help, I am here, ready to work with you, support you, and get you to a place where you can truly move forward and thrive. 

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.  

I also offer support and therapy to artists on set, navigating intimacy scenes, in conjunction with Shana Jacobs, Intimacy Coordinator, for those who have suffered sexual, physical or emotional trauma.  Often victims of this type of trauma experience feeling on edge, angry, tearful and anxious at times, but sometimes these feelings get triggered and stop us from being productive, preventing us from performing to the best of our ability.  Often this unresolved trauma can have a cumulative effect, leading to a persistent difficulty in various aspects of the work place.  Counseling/Psychotherapy is a proven method to overcome trauma and anxiety.  In therapy you unveil root beliefs and judgements you’ve never questioned before and explore them in a safe and contained environment.  In this process you work through your thoughts and reactions and objectively put these experiences in perspective, build your self confidence, and emerge thriving without past triggers haunting your performance.  

 

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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What To Expect On Your Walkabout

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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