Spring Lake Ranch extends a hearty welcome to Kathleen White, our new Clinical Director! A few days after she began, we sat down to talk together, and hope you'll stay tuned for more from her.
Reflections: A journey of mental health and community
As our summer sun wanes and foliage begins, I reflect on my days of long light and warm nights. One of the special events of my summer was the opportunity to study with Deb Dana, LCSW and author of The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy; Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation at the esteemed Cape Cod Institute.
A Day in the Life of the Rutland Aftercare Program
Lynn Dorsky, Case Manager
Working in the Rutland Aftercare Program at Spring Lake Ranch is an empowering experience for both clients and staff. To give you an idea, let me start by describing the wonderfully rambling and unique space of the Washington Street Townhouse, where most of the Rutland staff are based, and where our clients spend a good deal of their time. On the outside, the Townhouse is a stately, historic building, previously owned by a renowned window builder – many ornate windows can be found in the house to this day. Inside, the house has retained its historical charm, but also reflects the Ranch’s unique character.
Thoughts on Labels
"You're labeling me!" is a common enough lament, especially for my younger patients, when I propose a diagnosis of Bipolar/ Schizophrenia/ Asperger/ Personality Disorder, etc. My reply goes something like this:
Any diagnosis is a "working hypothesis," or a name for what ails you. Think of it as a suit of clothes we try on for size. Even if it "fits" now it may not fit forever, as you grow and your personal "weather" and body shape changes. Your diagnosis or "label" is not who you are, but it is where you are in this moment.
Nature is the Most Powerful Nurturer
This coming April will mark my one-year anniversary with Spring Lake Ranch. My role is one of therapist, Clinician being the formal title. As a “newbie,” I have been asked what I think of the Ranch many times by Ranchers, friends, and family. My response tends to be an enthusiastic, “I love it! It’s a little Narnia with a touch of heaven!” Now, I’ll admit I’m still in a bit of the honeymoon phase, but there truly are some magical components to life here.
On my first day at the Ranch, I noticed this homemade poster in the main house dining room, entitled “How to Build Community at SLR.” It contained short mantras that could be found on fortune cookies such as, “be generous with your time,” “challenge yourself,” and “don’t be quick to judge.” I immediately wondered what these mantras look like daily and if I could live up to these uplifting and positive requests. During my time as a House Advisor, here is a glimpse of what building community looks like on a daily basis at Spring Lake Ranch.