Wellness Care Farm
Julie utilizes a therapeutic relationship modality to support, treat, and prevent mental health challenges while cultivating personal growth. Her unique services are frequently sought by people who are hesitant to attend counselling or who have found in-office counselling was not a good fit for them. On the farm, Julie provides a client-centred approach that encourages people to lead to where they feel comfortable talking, this may be sitting in the snuggle stall while cuddling & grooming animals or with a support animal with them in the office counselling space. For others, they may feel more comfortable talking while doing arts & crafts, exploring the wetland, walking the meadow trail, or sitting around a campfire. The empowerment that comes from this humanistic approach cultivates trust and safety to embrace personal challenges while also identifying strengths, discovering individual uniqueness & ability to problem-solve, overcome challenges & succeed in life. The counselling techniques of play, art, CBT, DBT, mindfulness, self-love & compassion are creatively woven into sessions to assist with the awareness development, validation of lived experiences, re-framing personal perspectives, challenging unhelpful thoughts, developing healthy coping strategies and cultivating a healthy sense of self and belonging.
ADHD, ASD, FASD and Developmental Disabilities
For children & youth on the autism and fetal alcohol spectrums and for those experiencing symptoms of ADHD or for those with a developmental disability, out of necessity, these kids are often constrained by rules and expectations in order to fit within social environments which can impact their sense of self, but here on the farm, they are encouraged to be their own selves. Julie believes in setting children up for success and for this reason the farm is organized to be supportive of fast minds and fast bodies. The farm and therapeutic relationship offer a place of belonging for those who struggle to fit in and to be accepted just as they are. The farm environment is empowering with the attitude and approach of "yes we can", "let’s give it a try", and “how can we make this work?”, as I am curious to the strengths, abilities, and esteem that can be discovered and strengthened through a positive therapeutic relationship of acceptance, curious exploration and a place to belong.
For people impacted by anxiety, I help them to be curious about what their body is communicating rather than being fearful. I help them to increase their ability to embrace the experience of anxiety, identify their patterns of "twisted thinking" (cognitive distortions) and teach them how to question & challenge their internal dialogue while broadening their understanding of themselves, others, and the world in which they live. The inclusion of animals into this process is a non-threatening way to explore and develop insight into anxiety since animals are often hypervigilant to their environment out of concerns of becoming prey to predators. The animals not only provide a supportive and enriched environment that stimulates an oxytocin surge (a natural calming hormone in humans), the animals become objects of projections in which clients can witness non-verbal hypervigilant body language, project their self-talk and apply a variety of coping strategies.
Depression, Trauma, and Grief
For people who struggle with depression, trauma, and grief, the farm offers a quiet and gentle place to rest, heal, and to regain your strength. Nature and animals create a safe space for people to come and develop an understanding of all that has happened to them and how it has impacted them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. With this awareness and understanding, people are empowered with coping tools and insight necessary to forgiveness and self-compassion while also regaining a sense of safety and trust within themselves, others, and the world they live in.