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Ecotherapy in Clinical Practice

Summer Solstice 2024

Navigating the Mental Health Crisis in Young Adults

Using the healing powers of clinical engagement, of our therapeutic community, of nature, and of meaningful work, Hopewell's program transforms the whole person: mind, body, and spirit.

At Hopewell, we empower individuals to function at their highest level of effectiveness, leading to a more satisfying, self-reliant, and independent life, both during and after their stay.

A Focus on Clinical Engagement    

Our clinical team works with residents both in individual sessions and in groups, using evidence-based modalities and other best practices to shape change.

Psychiatrists help with medication management and other issues. Each resident also works frequently with a specific clinician to develop concrete goals for discharge that set a foundation for stability and increasing independence.  The resident's clinician leads our entire team to support residents in accomplishing their goals.

In our farm-based residential treatment program, we treat adults (18+) with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depression.

However, residents with identical diagnoses bring very different constellations of symptoms; have different, often complicated treatment histories; and respond differently to different parts of our program.

Therefore, we rely on no single approach. Rather, we select from our complete set of nature, work, community, and clinical offerings to tailor a plan that is most helpful to each residents’ particular overall journey with us, and to the specific challenges a resident faces on any given day.

All residents participate in:

  • Psychiatric evaluations
  • Medication monitoring and management
  • Case-managed integrated individual plans
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Family therapy and transition services
  • Wellness instruction

We tailor evidence-based practices to each resident:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Art Therapy and creative expression
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills
  • Ecotherapy
  • EMDR
  • Equine-assisted learning
  • Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Sandplay Therapy

Hopewell’s clinical engagement strategies enable each resident to discover different approaches to their diagnosis and experience a new healing path on their journey.

Hopewell residents work together to help themselves and each other as part of our residential therapeutic program.

Our Therapeutic Community is Central to our Approach    

At Hopewell, our therapeutic community is central to our approach to treatment. Studies find that therapeutic community participants show improvement in mental health symptoms, especially participants who enter treatment with the most severe problems.

The entire therapeutic community, both staff and residents, works together to support each other, to hold one another accountable, and to celebrate and sympathize together.

Social, musical, artistic, wellness, spiritual, worship, and recreational opportunities allow the staff and residents to experience time together and explore their creative channels.

Because of their illnesses, many residents come to us lonely, alienated from their communities, and with a history of complications with their families. Our therapeutic residential community enables a new beginning in a safe yet productive setting, where our residents discover by example what people with similar challenges can accomplish.

Healing Mental Illness with the Power of Nature

The findings on the mental health benefits of nature are profound. Hopewell’s program takes place in the heart of Ohio’s Amish country in Mesopotamia, an hour east of Cleveland.

On our 325-acre farm, our residents benefit from our animals, our nature therapy program, and from self-discovery – in our barns, barnyards, pastures, gardens, fields, meadows, ponds, and an extensive maple-filled forest, all interconnected with paths and laced with streams.

Changing the environment can have a powerfully positive healing effect on a someone living with mental illness.  Our setting in nature increases the potential for personal transformation.

The Importance of Meaningful Work in Promoting Mental Health

Through meaningful work, our residents learn personal responsibility, establish a routine to encourage structuring of their time, learn to stop focusing on symptoms, and make important contributions to community life.

Participation in work teams – animal care, farm, garden, wood shop, kitchen, maintenance, maple-sugaring, and others – is a key source of our residents’ success.

Work has demonstrable positive effects on mental health, including improving medication compliance, lessening of symptoms, and reducing the number of relapses.

Our work teams help residents to become re-engaged active participants in their own lives, to discover strengths they did not know they had, and to build their capability and self-esteem.

Transformative Healing at Hopewell

Hopewell is one of a very few facilities in the country that provides comprehensive mental health treatment in a working farm setting. We were the first therapeutic farm community in the United States to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for Therapeutic Community: Mental Health (Adults), and we remain the only mental health facility so accredited.

Hopewell is a non-profit, private-pay facility. Our generous donors have enabled us to set our base fees at among the lowest levels in the country.

Most residents use private pay to cover the cost of services, but some use a combination of private pay and a limited period of insurance benefits.

We recommend a minimum four-month stay in our residential treatment program, and work with each resident to determine a length of stay based on their personal treatment goals. Our admissions team is available to discuss individual care needs and assist in determining if Hopewell is an appropriate treatment provider for your unique situation. Call us at 440-426-4009 or use the contact form here.