By Maura Rodkey, Program Director
The Juniper Canyon Campus is nestled outside of Loa, Utah. Two brown, unassuming buildings where clients live from Tuesday – Thursday when they are not on an adventure. We use our “base” to reset and integrate everything learned out on adventure. During these two days, clients will spend time working with our clinical staff. But individual sessions and group therapy are only part of what they do. Outside of these scheduled clinical services, clients have lots to do here at base. Base is where every week begins and ends for clients and guides alike!
Individual therapy sessions happen twice a week for our clients. During individual sessions, therapists meet with clients in their offices to discuss treatment plan goals and utilize a myriad of therapeutic modalities to help clients navigate their way to new ways of being. Therapists may also choose to utilize other areas of our campus for sessions, such as our lake or our sand tray room. Sometimes individual therapy sessions will even be “walking sessions”, which some clients find helpful. Clients also might request a visit to our horses in our Equine Therapy Program.
Group therapy happens in one of our two group rooms. We offer several different styles of group therapy while clients are at base. We utilize a “Milan” style feedback group, Relapse Prevention Group, Equine Therapy, Psycho Education Group, and a clinical group for therapists to process what is happening within the team of clients. Our clinicians spend time every week sitting down together and brainstorming what the group needs most that week, and what offerings are most appropriate for the clients’ therapeutic progress. Therapists also often utilize art, music, and dance therapies.
While at base clients also have access to our nurse, Julie. She meets with each client every week to address medical concerns and monitor client health. If a client requires additional medical services Julie will take this time to find local specialists or set up outside appointments.
Clients also meet with other providers as needed for their Individual Treatment Plan. This includes one of our male clinicians, Sam, who is a Relapse Prevention Specialist. Clients struggling with substance abuse will get the opportunity to meet with Sam once a week and focus on 12 Step work, relapse prevention planning, and other addiction related topics in addition to the work they are doing with their primary therapist. Clients struggling with Eating Disorders, Disorder Eating, or other Eating Responses will have the opportunity to meet with our Dietician Rachel Rood once a week via zoom. Additionally, clients will see our Psychiatrist, Dr Barusch, as often as needed.
Clients have access to our new exercise equipment room while at base as well. This room includes stationary bikes, a rowing machine, free weights, a punching bag, resistance bands, a foam roller and much more. This is a space where clients have the opportunity to release energy. The clinical work they are doing is hard work! It often results in some built up energy that needs to be “moved around.” This ability to move and challenge themselves physically supplements the intense clinical work we do, with the overall goal being to help clients have a more holistic approach to their mental and physical health. Additionally, learning how to manage emotions in a healthy way is an important step towards lasting recovery and mental health. The ability to integrate regular exercise while here at base gives them a new way of dealing with difficult emotions, including boredom, which is a helpful coping skill when they leave Juniper Canyon.
When the weather is nice we encourage staff and clients alike to go to our basketball, pickleball, and volleyball courts to have some fun! This area of our campus offers such needed reprieve from the challenging topics we cover on a daily basis. It is also a place where clients and staff can come together for some healthy competition and bonding. Just having fun can be so healing and offer the chance for all the work the clients do to digest and integrate.
Lastly, while at base, clients at the end of their stay have access to our computer and phone. This phone and computer usage is for aftercare or discharge planning. With the help of a staff member, clients can research and call the programs or professionals they will use to continue their care when they leave Juniper Canyon. Additionally, clients often have bills to pay, classes to register for, or other logistical needs to tend to while they are with us and they can use this space to complete these tasks.At Juniper Canyon our priority in everything we do is giving our clients a well-rounded, holistic program, how we utilize our spaces is no exception. Our campus offers so much to make our clients’ stay comfortable and productive!