Dreamcatcher™ provides psychological services including clinical assessment and treatment services to individuals in order to remediate identified problems that may place themselves or others at risk. Our registered psychologists and social workers have a passion for finding the "key" to helping our clients achieve their goals. Our incredible team, coupled with our diverse setting, allows us to employ numerous therapeutic methods, from more traditional office-based sessions, to outdoor Nature and Animal Assisted Therapy. We offer one-on-one sessions to people of all ages and backgrounds that may have not found success in other forms of therapy somewhere else.
THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES AND METHODS UTILIZED
Animal Assisted Therapy
Our ranch is home to many animals who were homeless or hurting and now partner with our therapists to assist people in discovering a healthy self. As a whole, our program works with the honest nature and unconditional acceptance of the animals to overcome obstacles and foster personal growth. Our highly skilled professionals are trained in this researched and evidenced, valuable therapeutic medium.
Art therapy techniques involve using creative mediums such as colouring, collage, crafts, painting, sculpting (and more) to help people express themselves and explore their emotions non-verbally through a medium that is safe, accepting, sensory-stimulating, and non-intrusive. This is an effective form of therapy for some and assists in personal processing.
Equine Facilitated Counselling
EFC is a researched and evidenced effective form of counselling that involves equines. The term “equine” may refer to horses, donkeys, ponies and miniature horses. As horses are prey animals, their instincts are finely tuned. Their long history with humans has equipped them with the ability to astutely ‘read’ human emotions based on subtle nuances and they often react and respond to people based upon the person’s emotional state. This natural instinct makes horses extremely sensitive to the changes in humans and they are valuable members of the Dreamcatcher™ therapeutic team.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR allows us to successfully process the negative memories and emotions that become ‘trapped’ in the nervous system after traumatic events. EMDR is a researched and evidenced effective method for helping to overcome past traumas and decrease symptoms of PTSD. It alleviates anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, and chronic pain, helping to unravel disturbing thoughts or beliefs that render people feeling helpless and hopeless for positive change.
NATURE ASSISTED THERAPY
NAT is evidence-based and the research indicates that people are neurologically positively impacted by the natural environment. Dreamcatcher™ offers NAT through conducting therapeutic sessions outdoors in its natural environment alongside the Dreamcatcher™ animals, on the walking trails in the forest, at the Dreamcatcher™ ponds and through nature-based activities including hiking, tobogganing, skating, animal tracking, horticulture and more.
Play Therapy is an approach used to help people explore their lives and freely express their thoughts and feelings through play. It encourages free expression and allows the therapist to observe the person’s choices, decisions and play style. It is a researched and evidence-based therapeutic technique and is said to be essential for neurological development and personal insight.
SAND TRAY THERAPY
Sandtray therapy is a nonverbal medium that utilizes a sandbox and various figures to allow a person to construct their own scene or world in the sand tray which reflects their inner thoughts, challenges and concerns. It often reflects what the person is experiencing in that moment and allows them to process and gain awareness of their experiences. Through the sandtray, people can often non-verbally resolve their conflicts, remove obstacles in their life and gain self-acceptance.
tRADITIONAL THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONS
Talk therapy is just that. You sit down and talk with a therapist inside of an office setting. Whether it’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Harm Reduction, or a different form of talk therapy, each therapist at Dreamcatcher™ utilizes these according to their training.
PARTICIPATORY PRACTICES THAT ADDRESS
Trauma, Grief & Loss
Unresolved trauma or grief and loss overwhelms us with despair, helplessness and fear. It disrupts our sense of the world, making it appear unsafe and untrustworthy. It affects the way we emotionally regulate and connect to ourselves and others. The good news is that each person is capable of creating positive change for themselves and cna experience healing. At Dreamcatcher™ we assist people to learn and grow as they develop skills mal-adapted because of the trauma they have experienced and process their stories in a manner that helps them access healing.
Abuse, Aggression, Self-Harm, Sexualized Acts & suicidal Ideation
At Dreamcatcher™, we understand that negative behaviour is a form of communication and occurs because it serves a purpose. By seeking why a behavior exists and helping a person explore healthy coping mechanisms, we work to create positive change that reduces or eliminates negative behaviours. Ultimately, this leads to healthy relationships between self and others.
Brain Injury, Developmental Delays, Organic Brain dysfunction
Whether a person has suffered a head injury through accident, was born with a neurodevelopmental issues (e.g., FASD, Autism and many more), or has cognitive delays due to emotional trauma, we work through many eclectic mediums to meet the person where s/he is and develop his or her social, emotional and cognitive skills helping the person develop to his or her fullest potential. To achieve this, our highly skilled staff work though concrete and hands-on mediums which may be comprised of animal assisted work, play therapy, sandtray therapy, music, art and nature mediums or a combination thereof. This eclectic approach to helping allows for the development of new neuropathways and new functional skills for living and developing healthy relationships.
Boundaries, Communication, & Health Relationships
At Dreamcatcher™ we partner with animals and nature. These partnerships offer our clients an opportunity to observe how animals interact with each other, setting boundaries non-verbally and communicating positively and negatively. As therapists, we can then assist our clients to learn about their own boundaries and explore how this process involves learning about where we stop and others begin. When our boundaries are healthy, we experience a clearer sense of who we are, what our rights are and our safety increases. We make healthier choices and can easily teach others how to treat us which helps lead to healthier relationships.
There are many reasons why emotions can be difficult to manage. At Dreamcatcher ™ we explore what it takes for individuals to self-regulate and take control over their emotions. This process often entails exploring with someone what emotions are, how to identify and label them within their own bodies, how to understand what triggers a change in their emotions and providing strategies to help people to manage their shifting emotions. When an individual masters a strategy, we collaborate with community supports on how best to implement these strategies across settings so they are transferred into an individual’s every day life.