Located just 15 minutes from beautiful Sedona, Arizona, a town named after bereaved mother, Sedona Schnebly, our carefarm is the first in the world for those enduring traumatic grief. It’s only one of a handful of carefarms in the entire United States. We do plenty of sweating, crying, and lifting here at Selah Carefarm. We also practice plenty of self-compassion, laughing, and putting things down in their places. This is a holy place and what happens here is ineffable. We use “carefarm” instead of “care farm” because we take ‘caring’ seriously, and none of our rescued farm animals are utilized for their products or for work. This is a sanctuary for them, and so we practice compassion and ahimsa through veganism and nonviolence toward all beings at the carefarm. The carefarming piece of the Cacciatore & Gorman (2016) model includes therapeutic agriculture and gardening, care for and connection to our 41 animals rescued from torture, abuse, and neglect, engagement with nature and ecotherapies, and green recreation.
CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICE AND CARE
The beautiful natural milieu of the carefarm is a wonderful place to begin a contemplative practice. Those who work here already have their own committed mindfulness, meditation, or contemplative prayer practices. Our team’s practices allow for the open, compassionate, and non-judging experiences of our clients. Those who want to learn meditation or mindfulness are able to receive instruction on contemplative practices, grounding, unconscious processes, bibliotherapy, rituals, yoga or mindful movement, and individual and group counseling for traumatic grief and the ATTEND Model (Cacciatore, 2011) of care.
Psychoeducation is an important part of what we do. And taking good care of the body is part of the process of traumatic grief because it’s such a physical experience too. When ready, clients of the carefarm will learn to eat clean and play dirty. We sweat, we move our bodies, and we work hard. Our counselors teach good sleep hygiene and stress resilience to help care for the body, mind, soul, and heart. When the body is healthy, coping with painful emotions is done with more ease. Compassion toward all, including the self, as well as the cultivation of self-awareness, integrating somatic health, exercise, sunshine, and the natural world, helps grievers feel more connected to self, to others, to all beings, and to the earth. We help our clients learn when they are ready.