Mission & Vision
Lone Oak Mission:
To make services accessible that promote healing and well-being through relationships with nature, animals, and other diverse community members.
Lone Oak Vision:
To establish a compassionate, just, and inclusive community that fosters attunement or connectedness across its members. Strength through compassion, justice through education, wellness through connection.
Lone Oak Philosophy:
We believe that to grow and heal, we must provide a safe environment for authentic connection for individuals and groups to create the branches of our community. The lessons we learn from our equine partners teach us about relationships, community care, and collaborative leadership.
Attunement, Restoration, Connectedness, Hope & Purpose (ARCH Model)
Despite the deep flaws and failings of an individualized, medical-model approach to decreased wellbeing, contemporary models of therapy and, more broadly, social services, continue to “isolate and treat.” The professional meets the individual who is experiencing symptoms; diagnoses the problem or illness; uses that determination to construct a treatment plan; implements an intervention; and then returns the “patient” or client to their community, with an expectation that they will do and feel better. The braided ideological strands and societal structures that support this model of care are resilient and well-funded. There is some evidence that this model is effective for some. But many of us are excluded from this treatment regime because we lack the “correct” diagnosis, do not have insurance, lack transportation, or simply do not have money to purchase services. Others of us have access but have received temporary relief from our most difficult challenges because, like most phenomena, our struggles are embedded in a larger context and cannot be removed and permanently resolved. Even for those of us who access services, participate in treatment, and experience some reprieve from our problems, the cost is high. Stigma is assigned, self-esteem depleted, and longer-term support lacking.
At Lone Oak, we have created an inclusive, contextual model of support. The “ARCH” model of community-based care differs in important ways from the medicalized and individualized services. Our team of expert mental health providers understands the utility of diagnoses as pieces of a much larger puzzle. Diagnoses can help us to understand our clients’ problems and provide clues. But diagnoses do not tell our clients’ full stories. Diagnoses do not capture all of our struggles, they do not reflect our strengths, and they are too narrow to reflect the structural, personal, emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychological dimensions of the human condition. Lone Oak therapists, counselors, and staff understand that our problems are shared. We understand that we have different experiences, challenges, and vulnerabilities. Many of these potential barriers to wellbeing are rooted in societal conditions, or amplified by hierarchical societal structures that reflect socio economic injustices. These challenges are best met by a community with a shared commitment to delivering a model of care that transcends contemporary models.
Attunement can be thought of as an emotional and kinesthetic sensing of others.
Attunement moves beyond empathy, toward a two-person experience of connectedness that is reciprocal. Empathic therapeutic practice has come to mean “walking in another’s shoes” and can unintentionally create the expectation that if the clinician can temporarily “borrow” the client’s view, they will then be able to return to the position of therapist, better prepared to intervene effectively on the client’s behalf. Attunement “asks” that both therapist and client work to understand each other and create an ongoing way of relating that increases authenticity and collaboration.
Experts at Lone Oak begin with the assumption that all humans have strengths and
talents. We understand that challenges and hard times may render us helpless and perhaps cause us to lose sight of those strengths, thereby compromising our capacity to change, adapt, and grow. In our work, we aim to restore clients’ inherent and earned strengths; we then augment them through education, training, mental health support, and resources.
Loss of connection has caused many of us to feel isolated and alone. These
feelings have been exacerbated by the global pandemic. The protective and ameliorative effects of social support and connection are well-documented. The Lone Oak community understands that relationships and connection to others -- both human and equine -- support our growth and motivate us to share the best part of ourselves. Relationships are an integral part of trauma-informed care. We at Lone Oak rely on relationships with clients and each other to build a connected community that supports our wellbeing.
H Hope and Purpose
Though the words experts use may vary, there is a consensus in the literature that human beings can change their lives when there is both enough discomfort with the status quo to motivate and enough hope for a different future to inspire. At Lone Oak, we understand that many of our clients have endured problems without support or assistance for too long; as a result, some may feel “stuck” or hopeless. Finding the right balance is complex. False hope is damaging, and “positive attitudes” may convey that therapists do not really understand clients’ complicated and intransigent situations. At Lone Oak, we help clients to build hope by modeling positive mindset, providing encouragement, sense of purpose, facilitating connections, and providing meaningful resources. We are strengths-based, dedicated to identifying possibilities for change and opportunities for wellness. We understand the power of self-esteem and an earned sense of self-efficacy and we endeavor to provide opportunities that allow our community members to develop both. Our community succeeds with the volunteer efforts of our community members. Together, we find a sense of purpose as we endeavor to create a place of healing, relationship, and wellness.