Ironwood Maine Web Update

“Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”


            The theme of this week has been mindfulness and how negativity can affect every group in our community. Summaries of our day-to-day life are included for your enjoyment, below.

Farmhouse Campus Overview

            On Monday morning, both groups were extremely motivated and we worked thoroughly and efficiently on chores. Both groups have set a goal to get more movie time on Sunday movie nights. Throughout the week, our barn lead has done a terrific job at setting time goals and meeting them, motivating the boy’s group to get up, and get out of the house for morning exercise. The house lead has been motivating the girl’s group to do the same and both groups get up, get morning chores done and exercise with full effort. House and barn are doing really well on chores, finishing before school and making it up to school on time. During chore time, both groups are doing a very good job at setting aside all differences to get the work done. There has been a lot of forward progress and many residents are making big strides toward getting their blues! As a community, we are building each other up when we’re struggling, as well as asking for help when we need it.

Therapeutic Group

            On Tuesday, both groups focused on validation. We went over the DBT acronym VALIDATE, and had partner work in groups of 2. One person would be the speaker, given a piece of paper with a topic to talk about, and the other person would be the person who would validate the speaker. Afterwards the speaker would give the person who validated some feedback on their validation skills and what they could improve on. This group was impactful because it made us look at what we do well, and what we need to improve on in our communication.  In both cases, we had to be mindful of how he came across, using the right tone and language. In short, he had to stay in the moment to succeed to the best of his ability.

Enrichment Activity

            Dog training on Monday was a blast! Both groups got to teach obedience training, obstacle courses, and concluding with how to show appreciation and love to an animal. The highlight of both groups was Program Director Chris J’s malamute puppy Tiva being mouthy. It was remarkable how much the dogs have improved over time and they have come so far! In this group you need to be patient and remain in the moment, while practicing mindfulness. The best part is that all boys and girls participate and no one is left out.  Staff Kate brought in her adorable 3 month old puppy named Oliver, a pawcake breed from Puerto Rico, who is only 11 pounds!

            This week has been terrific for both groups. Efficiency is growing in our teamwork and there is full participation in therapy and enrichment groups. Everyone, staff included, has practiced some form of mindfulness; the theme of this weekly update. 

            I hope that parents will also try to stay in the moment as much as possible, because the benefits are widespread, whether in family therapy, or while at work. Time flies when you’re in the moment, and time is extremely slow when you are looking at your watch every 30 seconds. We should all try to be more like the Buddha. That’s all folks…have a good week!