Bringing Your Child for Therapy on the Farm: Parent Instructions
Nourishing Hearts is an evolving clinical practice that is continuously striving to provide the highest quality of service.
PLEASE NOTE: Although the farm is an alternative setting for counselling, it is a clinical service and all areas of the farm are the clinical setting. Your child's privacy during the session is paramount, just as it is in an agency setting. Parents are asked to please respect their child's privacy and remain in the designated waiting area and refrain from wandering the farm or into the barn and chicken area.
Your child is assigned to a specific day and time for their appointment. This is their therapy time to help establish consistency. Please note, due to the size of my practice, there is very little, if any, flexibility in changing appointments. Typically there are 2 sessions per month. The month's upcoming appointment dates will be emailed to you at the end of each month. If these dates do not work please contact me as soon as possible. Cancellation of appointments requires 24 hours notice. All appointments canceled under 24 hours will change the full session rate. PLEASE NOTE: Sessions start at the scheduled time, not the arrival time. This means if you arrive late, the session will end at the scheduled ending time and the session fee remains the full fee.
Nourishing Hearts utilizes Owl Practice, a Canadian comprehensive practice management solution designed specifically for therapists working in private practice. The web-based Owl platform includes Scheduling, Client Data Management, Note-taking, Invoicing, and Forms/Measurement/Assessment tools. It is hosted in Canada and uses bank-level encryption to achieve Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) compliance.
You will be sent an Intake - Demographic Form form to auto-populate your personal information in your case le. Additional intake forms include Intake -Background Forn, Intake - Child Form, and Intake - Child Development Form
COVID 19 SAFETY PROCEDURES
1. A digital COVID-19 Assessment will be emailed to you prior to your child's session. It MUST be completed prior to entering the farm property. If the assessment indicates risk, the session will be canceled but it is the responsibility of the parent to email Julie to cancel the session. If no notice is given and the child just doesn't attend, you will be charged the full-service fee for the session. 2. Hands MUST be sanitized before touching the gate and entering.
3. Temperature is taken at the gate. If the temperature is above 37.8 C, the session will be canceled.
4. Parents and child(ren) MUST wear a face mask at all times while at the farm.
PARENT/GUARDIAN INFORMATION FORM
The Parent/Guardian Information Form will be sent to the parent/guardian email prior to the session, along with the COVID-19 Assessment. The form asks the following questions:
1. Do you have any important information that you would like to share? For example challenges or impactful situations?
2. Do you have any positives that you would like to share?
3. Do you have anything specific that you would like to be addressed in the next session?
4. Do you have any questions?
The purpose of this form is to increase communication with parents/guardians prior to the child’s session but also to minimize parent/therapist discussion in front of the child. Doing so will increase the efficiency of the child’s transition into a session maximize therapy time and reduce child anxiety/discomfort related to hearing personal information shared about them. PLEASE NOTE: when it is in the child’s best interest, I will be transparent with the child about the information shared with me.
Please park in the second driveway, beside the Little Free Library. This is the designated parking for waiting, pick up and drop off.
CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR
1. Please dress your child appropriately for being outdoors in the weather.
2. Solid footwear, especially if entering the large animal pen.
3. Wear clothes that can get dirty and potentially nibbled on by goats.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR THE FIRST SESSION
Parents who seek therapy for their children often ask how to explain therapy to their children. I hope the following samples are helpful if this is something you are struggling with. Please choose/adapt the one you feel is most appropriate to your child’s age and circumstances:
We're going to see Julie. Her job is to help kids (with their feelings) (feel better about school) (whose mom/dad have died) (who have been sexually abused) (whose mom and dad aren't living together anymore) etc. You can talk to her about anything. She has a room with some toys. You’ll be doing some talking and some playing with her. I know you’ve been through a difficult time lately…
We're going to see Julie. Her job is to help kids with their problems and worries. She helps kids by talking and playing with them. Our family has been through a difficult time lately…
We're going to meet with Julie. Her job is to help families (get along better) (cope better with…) etc.
IMPORTANT DO’S AND DONT’S
DO’S (Depending on the situation or the age of your child, some of the following may not apply)
Tell your child that therapy is not “a test” or “an exam”, etc. She will not be forced to do anything that makes her feel uncomfortable.
Tell your child that therapy will usually last about 50 minutes and happens every other week.
Bring your child to therapy as scheduled and on time—children feel more secure and do better in therapy when they have consistent appointments.
Tell your child that she is going to therapy because she is bad, sick, or a problem.
Tell her to listen to the “therapist” whatever she’s asked to do.
Give your child any pressure about being good in session.
Put pressure on your child to talk about her problems, etc
Talk about concerns regarding your child to me in front of your child as this usually makes children feel uncomfortable. If you would like to discuss a concern please email me prior to the session or complete the Parent/Guardian Information Form. (It’s best to email the day before the session as I am usually booked heavy on the day of the session.)
OTHER DO’S AND DON’T’S BETWEEN SESSIONS
Try not to force your child to come to sessions. If there is a problem bringing your child to sessions, please call or email me to consult.
Do not give consequences or any punishments if your child refuses to come to sessions.
Try not to bribe your child to go to sessions. I.e. if you go to therapy, I will take you to MacDonald’s afterward.
If your child shows you a drawing or her art after her sessions, try not to say any judgment comments such as, “It’s a beautiful picture”, “Wow…you did good”, “How come the person has no hands?” You can say something neutral, ” I see there are a lot of colours”. • After the session, don’t ask your child “Did you behave?” “Did you listen to ____?” “Did you help clean up?”
After the session, try not to ask your child “How do you like it?” “What did you do?” Sometimes it is hard for children to articulate their experience in therapy. Sometimes children are also afraid to upset parents. It is better for you to talk to me about your child’s progress.
After the session, don’t ask your child if she had fun or a good time—it’s “therapy”.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR EACH SESSION
Please email me or complete the Parent/Guardian Information Form the day prior to the session if there are significant updates so I am kept informed and can plan accordingly.
It’s best for your child to wear play clothes and “dress for mess” as sometimes paint and other materials used in session get messy
Please have your child wear solid footwear.
Please wait until your appointment time to enter through the farm gate. Please wait in your vehicle.
Ensure your child has a healthy snack prior to the session. Please do not send your child into the session with any food.
Please do not send your child to a session with toys from home. The focus should be on the toys/materials/activities in the playroom as they have been specifically designed for therapeutic value.
Take your child to the bathroom before the session.