Ironwood Maine Web Update

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

George Bernard Shaw

At Frye, motivation is mainly external. Things that motivate people are often material, and not intimately personal. After acceptance of the program and moving up to the Farmhouse, a resident will often become more internally motivated and invested in their success. 

​This week at the Farmhouse, the groups are working on team cohesiveness and leadership. On Sunday, we went ice skating. This was loved by some, and others, not so much. In girls’ group with Alicia, we had a conversation about group dynamics and what we as a team could improve on. Each of us committed to doing something that would make positive impact on our peers. This shows motivation from the individuals in our group to get us functioning as a unit and working together. 

​At Frye, playing soccer during enrichment blocks was enjoyed by many residents. In culinary group, the residents used mills to make homemade applesauce! The group dynamic is improving and residents are learning to be cooperative, showing greater empathy for one another. This week, art really inspired a lot of us. We are learning several techniques of painting. This incentive motivates us to get our daily chores completed early so we have extra time to work on out art projects. 

​I sat down with Emmet, one of our direct care staff to talk to him about motivation:

Q: In working with us (the residents) how do you see shifts in motivation?

A: At Frye, residents aren’t able to see the end of the journey. They have to accept the program and once they accept it, they can often find motivation to move forward. Then, once they progress to the Farmhouse, going home starts to look more realistic, which is also motivating. 

Q: What motivates you while working at Ironwood?

A: I moved to Maine and started a family. I needed a career that could help me support them and happened to hear about Ironwood. Initially I was nervous because I was unsure if I would enjoy this work, or if I would be successful in this role. Later, I realized that in order to be good at something, all you really have to do is care. I really enjoy being a mentor to the residents, sharing my own passions and skills with each of you, especially how to cook. 

I took time later in the week to speak to the Frye Girls group and asked how they find motivation. A common theme was that they found motivation in thinking about the future and being with family. Others found motivation through progressing to be more of their true selves and thinking about the things they are grateful for. 

Last, I spoke with of our Senior residents, a Level 4, about how her motives have shifted throughout her time at Ironwood:

Q: How have you noticed a shift in your motivation during your time at Ironwood?

A: At the Farmhouse you are closer to going home. This makes it easier to get motivated because you can start to see it as more of a reality. Also, at Frye the atmosphere is very different, and more tense. At the Farmhouse the community is much more cohesive. 

Q: Has the natural shift from external motivation to internal motivation helped you to find yourself, and if so, how?

A: At Frye, change wasn’t realistic, but at the Farmhouse, seeing my family, going home, and change all seemed do-able. This made it easier to focus and commit to change. 

All in all, motivation is being found in big and small ways all over campus. As residents begin to change how they think, they start to feel capable and confident which helps to become motivated. The first step in finding motivation starts from within.

*This weekend’s update was written by one of our level four residents, who has made great strides during her Ironwood journey.  We are grateful to share her thoughts with you and hope that you have a great weekend.  Spring is getting close and so is our next Family Weekend.  Be well!