Willow Therapy Farm
"Willow Therapy Farm Therapy was recommended by the school social worker, he had reviewed a range of programmes & then decided this was the most suitable to meet the emotional needs of our students. This year two groups of four students have attended the five sessions programme.
Each group had quite different needs, the first group comprised of four autistic boys, and each needed to learn skills to manage anxiety. The next group had varying needs, they all needed to develop socialization skills to cope in group & class situations. They needed help to relate to others in a positive way. The group also needed coping strategies to manage their personal anxieties in a classroom environment.
Debbie is extremely skilled & competent to assess student’s needs and adapt the programmes to meet their individual needs. She delivers the programme in quiet calm manner and makes each student feel safe in the caring environment to take risks & apply new skills. Each session the students revise the skills they have learnt and then extend their knowledge with new strategies. Any new issues identified are addressed promptly. Students understand how and where to apply the skills at the end of each day. All of the students who have been fortunate to participate in the programme have made notable positive changes, with their emotional resilience increasing. They remember to apply self-understanding skills and use the breathing strategies to calm down when anxious or stressed. When working with peers they respect others personal boundaries and know when to stop and walk away. They are also learning to cope with the negative behaviour they encounter occasionally in a positive way.
Willow Farm Therapy involves the use of dogs and horses to help teach the skills, this makes it significantly different from the more traditional therapy groups. The students relate well to the animals and can learn to apply the skills they have learnt with the animals. The animals are trained to respond to the students stress levels. Using the animals in such a positive way is fantastic. The biggest benefit to our students was the Emotional Resilience this then enabled student’s self-understanding and peer engagement to increase.
The programme has been very effective for the autistic students. They can now cope in a noisy mainstream classroom by using their magical earmuffs to block the noise. When their anxiety levels are high they are all applying the breathing techniques to calm down.When someone is in their personal space they have learnt to walk away before their stress levels increase.The confidence levels of these students have increased significantly, with two of the students speaking confidently in front of the class. Previously they would not have answered a question in a full class setting. Another student calms himself with the breathing techniques enabling him to remain on task & complete his work.These students are seldom work in withdrawal spaces now as by applying the skills they learnt at Willow Farm Therapy they can function successfully in the mainstream."
Kedgley Intermediate School
“Debbie has been working in our school for approximately the last 7 weeks. In this short time she has had a major positive impact on several of our current and one of our former pupils.
The staff and students at our school have noticed a positive shift in the behaviour and general social well being of the students that Debbie has been involved with.
These at risk students have a range of social and emotional and behavioural needs.
Debbie has developed a range of programmes to cater for their diverse needs.
These programmes range from one to one sessions, to friendship groups of up to five students.
Debbie has also created opportunities for some of our at risk students engage in therapy using a dog, and she is looking into opportunities for our at risk students to work with horses and possibly some other livestock in a rural farm setting".
Manurewa East School
"I Am writing this letter in high recommendation of Debbie's work as a Child and Adolescent Behaviourist. Through my observation of Debbie's work with the three students currently on my case load, I have seen a huge improvement and shift in their behaviours. Her ability to help children grow emotionally stronger through therapy and counselling only supports the huge needs that Debbie's services are definitely required. I cannot speak highly enough of the great work that Debbie does for the children and families that I work along side of."
Social Worker in Schools
"I am a Child and Family Therapist based at Whirinaki a Child and Adolescent Outpatient clinic at East Tamaki South Auckland. Whirinaki is part of Counties Manukau District Health Board and we provide mental health services from maternal team, infant, child teams and youth and early intervention teams. In my professional capacity as a therapist I have known Debbie Rowberry a behavioural therapist since 2011. She is currently involved with one of my child clients. We have been working together with this case which is complex. My client comes from a background of neglect and trauma. Equine therapy approach has helped this child to express his emotions and learn new coping skills to deal with his distress. This child and his siblings have made considerable progress due to Debbie’s therapeutic work. I have found Debbie Rowberry to be professional, enthusiastic, a good communicator, empathetic, and have a passion for her clients. Debbie provides equine therapy with clients and her approach is novel and specialised."
Child and Family Therapist based at Whirinaki
“My teenage daughter was causing concern, she became involved with a bad group of people and got into trouble with the police. The social worker recommended Debbie as a therapist. Since being on the program my daughter has stopped swearing at me, she even talks to me now. She is no longer seeing the people she got into trouble with and seems much happier. She is back to being the girl she used to be. “
"We had a very stressful year in our family. I had been diagnosed with early stage Breast Cancer and had undergone a double mastectomy and a reconstruction. During this time my 14 year old daughter’s behaviour and attitude had started to deteriorate. At the time I considered this to be normal teenage behaviour and so we continued to fight the same old battles, week after week. She was rude, bad mannered and didn’t seem to care about anything. Our response was to ground her, or take her phone off her, or something similar - It was a never ending cycle. Then suddenly her behaviour worsened. She had started cutting her upper leg with a razor blade, and also said to some people that she might take some pills because ‘everything was too hard’. That was the trigger for us that she needed professional help. That was when I contacted Debbie Rowberry. She suggested my daughter start the Child Behavioural Therapy Programme. It was the best thing I have ever done. I know that sounds over the top, but honestly, the whole families life has changed. And although it was my daughter that met with Debbie each week, I also benefitted from Debbie’s guidance and advice. My daughter is now helpful, friendly, well mannered and seems to be a different child. She volunteers to help out with meals and chores at home, helps her younger sister with things and jokes around with her dad a lot now. Most importantly, she is happy and confident. She is working hard at school and has a lot more friends. I am very proud of her. I cannot thank Debbie enough for what she has done for us all. In just 10 weeks, she transformed our family. And the change has been in place for over three months now. She has made a world of difference in our lives. I highly recommend Debbie and her therapy sessions."
Warmest RegardsBE. (name available on request)
"We have been troubled of recent with some problems with one of our children and after
trying a “Super Nanny” type person, The 1,2,3 program, various reward systems/charts and visiting a child physiologist, we decided to look at the program offered by Debbie Rowberry.
Initially skeptical as all previous attempts had failed and this child has had to deal with an enormous amount of medication and appeared to have developed behaviour problems we decided to talk to Debbie about the program she offered. Debbie’s program particularly interested us as the approach seemed much more relaxed, suitable for a young child with the use of animals as a third medium a good way for a child to learn and listen without realizing that this is happening. Debbie’s approach is very gentle, trust inspiring, and uses many tools which include discussion, stories, reading, drawing pictures and animals to name a few all of which make it an ideal situation and comfortable environment for a child to open up and discussed feelings and emotions in.
Over the past few weeks we have noticed a big change in our child’s behaviour for the better and as parents feel for the first time that someone is actually helping us sort the problem out in a positive way. Our child is very happy to spend time with Debbie and her beautiful animals who help with this therapy and doesn’t see any of it as a negative experience, we of course are only seeing it as a positive experience with a child who is much better than she was initially. Thank you Debbie, keep doing your great work."