Ironwood Maine Web Update



The girls group began by checking in on how they are doing individually and as a group. They highlighted their strengths in being welcoming and supportive of the new resident in their group. The girls spent time creating two lists of the group strengths and limitations. They each chose one point from each of the lists to consider working on for the week. The group played “hangman” using a values/moral theme and then processed the deeper meanings.


The group today broke down the DBT concept of the Behavior Chain Analysis with personal examples. Residents were given the opportunity to write their behavior issue on the board and explore with their peers the objectives that created their vulnerability, the prompting event, and the links that then lead to the behavior. Appropriate and effective consequences were also discussed. One student explored the reasons that she pushes people away instead of letting people get close to her today. She wrote down this information on her own paper after as she stated that it truly helped her realize that she has a lot of fear from past events that trigger this behavior.


In this week’s session, the boys chose to work with Duncan and the task was to get him to push a large yoga ball with his head through two cones. Duncan was afraid of the ball and most of the session was spent trying to help Duncan feel comfortable near the ball. The group discussed situations in which they have had to overcome discomfort or fear and how they worked through it.


Ethnic Night

This past weekend was a celebration for all. The farmhouse students welcomed in the Latino culture as Mexico’s Ethnic night was brought to campus. In this half-day event students prepared a variety of educational presentations, cultural demonstrations, and of-course, a meal specific to the region. Students enjoyed discussing all of the unique qualities of our culturally rich neighbors, all the while filling and eating their homemade tacos.


This week’s group began with an activity called Fears in a Hat in which residents anonymously write down a fear that prevented them from being themselves or moving forward in their program. They placed the slip of paper in a hat and then, each resident picked out of the hat and read the anonymous fear out loud to the group. The majority of the group shared the fear of being judged, rejected or failing and discussion revolved around how the group can better support one another.

Social Group

This week’s session offered an opportunity to talk about the issue of gossip. The students were asked to define gossip and then share their perspective on what kind of a person spreads gossip…and why? Topics of discussion followed including: “Why don’t we feel comfortable listening to gossip or sharing gossip?” The group then looked at the underlying causes for gossip in a group, how stories get distorted and further, how people can be emotionally wounded. The group facilitator introduced trust as a needed component within the community and discussed various facets of trust. To complete the session, students shared lessons that they learned individually and their plan of action moving forward. This group was also assigned to find a movie about a female character/hero, that can be viewed and critiqued, to learn how self-trust can develop over time or through certain experiences.

Staff Appreciation – Dan F., Residential Counselor

Dan is from Waldo, Maine and proclaims to love this state and the people who reside here. Dan expresses that he is honored to fulfill a role at Ironwood and be a part of our amazing team. Dan shares that there is nothing more rewarding to him than hearing a student talk about how much they have developed over time, and being able to support that transformation. Dan’s tries to live life by this Amelia Earhart quote:

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward.”

Have a great weekend!