Ironwood Maine Web Update

This week, residents are transitioning back into a typical Ironwood weekly routine. After recently completing a successful Family Weekend, it has been interesting to navigate back into a regular day, as they smooth out group dynamics and re-establish the flow of our daily happenings. 

As you know with Ironwood’s program, residents spend a considerable length of time away from loved ones. Due to that time apart, Family Weekends can be a key factor in creating motivation to many residents. It can remind residents and their families what they are working towards and the progress made, so far. Residents use these weekends to catapult towards an Ironwood graduation and these quarterly events make great stepping stones throughout the entire program. These weekends motivate families to connect face-to-face and bring a strong sense of reality to the work at hand. True emotion can be heard, felt, and seen through these weekends. 

Family Weekends are not only beneficial for families to take advantage of during the course of a program, but they can also be helpful to life outside of Ironwood, as well. The time spent in-person can evoke internal feelings that often bring overlooked issues to the surface. This creates an opportunity for families to navigate these challenges with the support of the Ironwood staff. This supportive environment and experience addressing challenges issues can be directly related to future situations that arise, as residents transition back home after the Ironwood program. 

During my time at Ironwood, I have had some really amazing Family Weekends and some rough Family Weekends. Over this past Family Weekend, my family wasn’t able to participate, but I was able to contribute to a variety of workshops and offer my own support to other families throughout the weekend. It was a great experience, because I was able to get a different perspective of their family dynamics and the emotions being experienced. While participating in group therapy sessions, it was apparent that the families were working through a lot of challenging emotions.  However, it was obvious the effort being exerted was so rewarding. 

This past weekend was a hard, but still a great time for Ironwood residents and their families. The outcomes can be both positive and consequential, but all-the-while, creating opportunities to benefit all involved. 

This weekly update was written by a Level 4 student who made the effort to focus specifically on one component of the Ironwood Program. When considering her options, she was encouraged to write about something that she felt was powerful and special to her. It is obvious that these Family Weekends are an integral component of the Ironwood program. We all hope that each of you are still benefiting from the time together and the lessons learned from this past weekend.