All of us within these 400 acres of the Ironwood campus are preparing for Family Weekend later this month. This week’s senior level resident, who was assigned the update interviewed peers and staff on what was being looked forward to as this “Big Event” draws near.
Most residents shared that they were looking forward to spending time with their parents and simply, “just being with family.” Hopeful thoughts that there will be mutual problem solving with an open spirit, as well as the building of trust and the honest unfolding of forgiveness and reconnection. There is also anticipation for shared meals together with family…something that is an everyday occurrence on-campus with peers, where food and conversation go hand-in-hand.
Ironwood staff shared how much they enjoy seeing family members reconnect…the laughter, hugs (and tears), physical resemblances (sometimes!) and student personalities “coming out” during group activities and relaxed times together.
“In DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), we learn effective communication skills, emotional regulation, distress tolerance and mindfulness. We get to discover how to respectfully and appropriately, communicate with friends, family and others constructively, instead of just arguing. This often prevents conflict before it happens.” For those of you at home, DBT is a big part of the Ironwood experience. Residents who learn these skills, typically grow in confidence and become more comfortable sharing in times of struggle and conflict. What could be better than that?!
Lastly, “this past week, music class has made the most positive impact on my life. We have been preparing 3 songs that will be performed at Family Weekend. In this class, we focus on learning about new instruments and how to reach our full potential as individuals. This group has been such a great outlet for me, since music is a big part of my life.” Music and arts at Ironwood provide an avenue of relief and expression for our residents who are in search of their purpose. Confidence usually flows from these efforts and your kids who are performing next Friday, while nervous, are growing in their skills and wanting to show this off to those that they care about the most.
Our campus is currently green and vibrant. There are trails to hike and many locations for spending time with one another. For those of you heading north next week, please travel safe and arrive in comfortable clothing, with some back up layers, and most importantly, your full love and support.
Have a great weekend!