Alexandra is a psychologist who works alongside her therapy dog, Chudley. Chudley is a Groodle and his favourite thing about coming to the farm is having lots of space to run around to chase balls! Chudley especially loves going for walks down to the lake and swimming with the ducks.
Alexandra’s favourite thing about being at the farm is being surrounded by lots of different animals. Some of the animals can be quite shy and building trust can require a lot of patience and perseverance. Other animals can be quite the opposite and offer clients an opportunity to learn about asserting boundaries in a kind and clear way. The animals at the farm also offer clients an opportunity for co-regulation, where they adjust their own behaviours, thoughts, and even emotions in order to connect with the animals in a meaningful way. Sometimes that means bringing energy levels right down to help an animal feel safe, and other times it means moving their bodies around and experiencing life through the animals’ eyes.
While anyone could benefit from the kind of natural, organic, and genuine therapy that Alexandra and Chudley offer at the farm, the immediate feedback of the animals makes it particularly suitable for the neurodiverse community, especially those with a special interest in animals. The incentive to interact with these animals and build a genuine connection with them helps clients to open their minds to how they can overcome the obstacles preventing this from happening immediately or in other contexts (such as work or school). It helps to develop patience, resilience, problem-solving, perspective-taking, and perseverance in a highly incentivised environment.
Alexandra and Chudley aim to help their clients to build confidence in implementing these skills in a safe, non-judgemental space. Clients can learn to tolerate uncomfortable emotions and consider them a natural part of life that need not be resisted against but learned from and worked through, thus becoming valuable and welcome as opposed to daunting and challenging. Clients are free to make choices and experience natural consequences in a safe way, supported by Alexandra and Chudley, and they learn to build trust not only with their care team (including the animals!) but also with themselves.
Alexandra and Chudley look forward to welcoming people from all walks of life and valuing their individuality above all else. They can assist clients to work through issues such as depression, anxiety, transitions, interpersonal issues, school refusal, trauma, and a myriad of other presentations. They look forward to helping people build skills they will use for life and helping people to live their best lives, being the best version of themselves possible. Alexandra and Chudley look forward to helping people heal, grow, enrich their lives, and let their true selves shine.