• What is
    30 Walks?


    The 30 Walks Project is a streaming audio service you can access on your computer, tablet or phone’s web browser. It's free to hear the first few episodes and you can subscribe to access more.

    Aims

    With an overarching aim to help listeners reduce their emotional pain and increase their personal agency, each half-hour audio episode of 30 Walks is the start of a conversation the listener will continue with themselves, in the back of their minds, over the days and weeks following.

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  • History

    At a personal crossroads and exiled in Paris, writer, musician and broadcaster Richard Lewis discovers the zen of walking. In the process, he finds the gentle motion acts not only to improve mood, but even more excitingly, walking acts as a gateway to productive reverie, or unconscious cognition.

    What's that?

    It’s a way to solve problems and generate big ideas. Over the course of thirty walks, Lewis tackles notions of self-care and psychological wellbeing in a series of reverie-like introspections that leave the listener feeling stronger and happier.

    Why should I listen?

    Part personal history, part self-improvement, part primer in philosophy, quantum physics and social psychology, it’s a thought-provoking and profoundly moving meditation on the human condition.

    OK, I'll listen
    History

Meet the team

Who makes 30 Walks?

Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis

Author/narrator

Richard is the bestselling author of three books, a writer of journalism, television scripts, a series for Channel Four Radio and numerous musical scores. Over a twenty-year career, he has had work published in most of the UK broadsheets and appeared on Radio Four's Loose Ends, Excess Baggage and others.

Outside of his creative work, Richard is a devoted father, a trainee in psychotherapeutic counselling and member of the National Counselling Society.

He erroneously believes leisure time means doing different work, but when not behind his computer he is generally to be found on his Vespa or collecting rocks on the beach.

Photo: Rosario Oddó

Oliver Feldman

Oliver Feldman

Producer

Oliver is a freelance writer, editor and producer of web and audio content.

With over fifteen years experience in journalism and commercial copywriting, Oliver has parlayed those skills into his production and strategy work for the 30 Walks Project, producing rich, nuanced and engaging audio products that connect with listeners on an emotional and an intellectual level.

In his free time, Oliver is undertaking training in contemporary person-centred psychotherapy, studying eastern philosophy and spiritual practice, riding any one of his five two-wheeled vehicles, and dreaming about his next adventure.

Photo: Simon Green

your questions

FAQ

Are you qualified counsellors?
No, not yet. But 30 Walks is not a counselling service. Oliver is a member of the UK Council of Psychotherapists (UKCP), studying for an MA in Contemporary Person-Centred Therapy. Richard is a trainee member of the National Counselling Society, working towards a Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Richard says: “I’m a writer and a musician. My life is full of failures, disappointments and bad choices, along with the successes, achievements and good decisions. But what I seem to do well is find language and communicate ideas through stories, examples and music. To my great surprise, this approach has helped people feel better and achieve goals, so I’ve created this as a way to reach more people.”

So is this a course, a podcast, or an audiobook?
Yes, probably. Maybe think of each walk as a chapter and also an episode, like a radio show, rather than a lesson. Lessons need teachers and I’m more of a narrator. I’ve not seen anyone else use this format: a book set to music, delivered in audio, chapter by chapter as it’s written. It’s possible I’ve invented it.

So what will I learn?
Hopefully, you’ll tell me. The goal is to help people like themselves a little more, feel happier, spend less time suffering.

What does 'science-based' mean?
‘Science-based’ means that the key themes in 30 Walks are based on ideas whose therapeutic and cognitive efficacy have been proven in clinical environments, rather than wishful thinking or ideas that have been made up by the author. The chief elements of empirical science are pulled from behavioural psychology (Burrhus Skinner), cognitive psychology (Albert Ellis) and social psychology.

These coexist in 30 Walks with well-established ideas from Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Jaques Lacan and Axel Cleeremans on the unconscious mind; the work of Jaques Derrida on meaning, signs and symbols; the work of Carl Rogers on empathy as the centre point of person-centred healing. The mix is wrapped up in metaphors and stories of the author’s own invention, partially influenced by the work of psychologist Milton Erickson.

Skinner believed that all behaviour (including thoughts and feelings) was learned; therefore, unhelpful behaviours could be unlearned and substituted for more helpful behaviours. He also believed in setting goals and taking incremental steps to achieving them. Ellis believed that our thoughts controlled our feelings, so by actively changing our cognitive processes we can change our feelings. These two approaches form the basis of modern cognitive-behavioural therapy. The issue I have with these approaches is that, while they are proven to be effective in changing behaviour I don’t think they “heal”.

Skinner’s approach posits the client as Pavlovian subject while I find that Ellis’s assertion that the person being helped is irrational and must be argued with by the helper to return to rational thought, misses the fundamental point of what it means to be human and in distress. Arguing with a person about their reality is, in my view, highly invalidating. I believe that the trauma of psychological invalidation is at the root of much of our distress to begin with.

So here I turn to Rogers and Maslow and the Humanistic approaches to therapy. Skinner, Watson, Ellis et al have given us terrific tools. But Rogers reminds us that every subjective reality is valid and that no one heals without being listened to and wholly accepted.

Rather than give lectures on these subjects, two thirds of which will probably be forgotten, I attempt to teach the ideas via story and metaphor that fire the imagination and become inculcated via unconscious cognition. Here we are into the territory of those who wrote about the conscious and unconscious mind: Freud, Jung, Erickson and many others.

So we walk to relax body and mind and enter a more meditative state. On its own, a walking meditation is relaxing for the mind and body. Add to it a host of ideas that the walker will assimilate, play around with and apply to their own lives without having to give it too much thought and you have the concept of 30 Walks.

How will 30 Walks help me?
The idea is first of all to help you make walking for 30 minutes a day a routine. If the 30 Walks Project achieves nothing else for you then this will still give you plenty of benefits. The physical and psychological benefits of walking for 30 minutes a day are well documented. I hope to help you achieve this by giving you a reason to walk and a structured 30-minute distraction from the act of walking, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. I will then use that 30-minute privileged audience I have with you to tell you some stories that I hope will help you see things differently, feel something differently or give you new information. It is my hope that the act of walking will allow you to process the ideas yourself in the background, using unconscious cognition, and start adapting and adopting the ideas in your own way, without having to make too much of a conscious effort to learn anything.

Is this hypnosis?
No. To be effective, hypnosis requires the client and therapist to be present together. In addition, the script and modality would need to be written and chosen specifically for the client. It’s not possible to achieve this with a generic text using distance audio.

Can I download the episodes and listen to them offline?
No, sorry. That isn’t possible at this time. It’s a streaming service only.

What exactly am I paying for?
Online access to all the streaming content. As long as you keep your subscription, you will have access to all 30 episodes and any content that is added to that course. We may add other courses, resources and elements in the future or add membership levels. Please note that this is a public beta version of the site. Not every part is available at present. Some things may not work properly. If that happens get in touch via the social media channels linked to at the top of the site and let us know. Or drop us a line via the contact form on this site.

Can I cancel my membership at any time?
Yes, there’s a direct link in the website footer, below.

Do you store my credit card details?
No. We don’t have any way to capture them either. Payments are handled securely by Paypal.

How come there are only x number of episodes?
We’re still building the course. We’re adding new episodes at a rate of one a month and running the site in beta preview mode until they are all added. Please bear with us.

Is there any other content I can listen to for free while deciding whether I want to sign up?
Hell yeah. First up, join our mailing list and you’ll be first to know about everything we’re doing. Next there’s our youtube channel where we post video content and subtitled trailers. That might be a good place to start. There’s also our podcast channel which you can find on Soundcloud, iTunes or by searching for 30 Walks wherever you get your podcasts. For each walk we’ve put out an extended trailer or preview, each one is about six minutes long and it’ll give you something of a flavour of what each episode is about, that’s why we call them tasters and they’re completely free. Finally you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all our news.

Can I subscribe for a month, pay my £3.50, listen to all available episodes before the end of the month then cancel?
Of course you can. You’ll miss out on the new episode we put up each month but it’s your money, it’s your time and it’s your choice. Go ahead.

Can I buy a subscription for someone else without having an account myself?
Definitely. Just go to our shop and select the gift voucher.

SGD. Macclesfield, UK

SGD. Macclesfield, UK

Woke up with anxiety, thought I was going back to panick attacks. But I've learnt. My 30 minute walk a day put me back the right way.

S.M. Oxford, UK.

S.M. Oxford, UK.

I have been taking my time with the walks, allowing them to roll around my head for a while before moving on to the next, though I now have the habit of walking for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

User. Coventry, UK.

User. Coventry, UK.

You’ve utterly inspired me to dig deeper into
my own negative thought spirals.
Your manner is charming and easy and
I like the way you make us all feel comfortable
with experiences and situations from real life.

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