A Calming Space Without Judgement
"Well, what can I say? Visiting Dawn at The Garden Room has been so eye-opening. It is such a calming place where nothing you say is judged. Just a listening ear. The Grief Recovery Method really helped me to understand and accept my emotions. I feel like I will be able to deal with any grief I may have in my Life."
My Pain Was Real and Mattered.
"This course brought about a huge transformation in my life and my perspective when dealing with my past losses and grief. Although I am not stereotypically labelled as someone who has suffered huge losses (such as the death of a loved one), Dawn helped me realise the pain I had experienced throughout my life was still real, that it mattered and that I didn't have to continue with it weighing me down and affecting my every-day life. This was significant for me because often I had questioned my emotions and not feeling they were justified because I hadn't experienced the right 'type of grief' to bring about those feelings."
"Dawn has a very special ability to deliver clarity, understanding and compassion around a sensitive topic and I always left feeling lighter and more positive! Throughout the course I was amazed by the lessons learnt from the handbook Dawn uses which is very easy to read and relatable. The content in the programme, for me, was incredibly mind-opening and inspiring. It humanises 'grief' and tackles it head on and practically; which I believe is the only way to be able to acknowledge pain, accept it and let it go."October 2018
EYE-OPENING AND LIFE CHANGING!
I'm amazed and inspired by what I'm learning. It has been a breath of fresh air not having anyone judging you or writing notes, you can simply be you and reassured that everything you are feeling is natural and okay.
The techniques learnt have helped me personally to understand my feelings and being able to speak openly and write my thoughts down has helped enormously in my own journey of recovery.
I liked that there was no questions or analysis. Your honesty showing your emotions made me feel okay about crying.
The Garden Room is a wonderful safe haven. I feel completely relaxed in the environment Dawn works in.
I am reminded of the bright colourful woman Mel was and it brings me joy.
Dawn was a close friend of Mel, my soul partner sadly lost to us. Part of Mel was her love of bright beautiful clothes so Dawn offered to make some things from pieces of Mel's clothes. These items have have been so helpful to me on my journey through grief, how they have helped me changing as I have changed. When someone you love dearly passes away unexpectedly, well I can only speak for myself but I wanted to hang to as much of Mel as I could just after she died. Her last voice message on my phone so I could hear her voice for instance, playing it over and over at times trying to fill the huge space in my life her absence had created with something of her. The things Dawn made from Mel's clothes helped me to let go of Mel as slowly as I needed to. Now the items bring me cheer because rather than me clinging to something I am reminded of the bright colourful woman Mel was and it brings me joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Dawn Ford
Keepsakes for himself, his son and daughter. 2016
CLARITY, WISDOM & CREATIVITY
I had a lovely lovely day today with the most gorgeous soul Dawn Ford. Training as Grief Recovery Method Specialists brought us together. Today we had the longest chats, the best moments of clarity, wisdom and creativity together. An amazing artist and maker of keepsakes for those who we have lost. Please go check out her art it's so so gorgeous and she makes the most beautiful keepsakes, I can't wait to see how she makes my precious keepsakes into something new I can keep forever.
IT HUMANISES 'GRIEF' AND TACKLES IT HEAD ON AND PRACTICALLY.
I will be eternally grateful to Dawn for the wonderful service she offers, and she's helped both me and my daughter more than she'll ever know.
A very special way of drawing out the difficult things while promoting the positives.
Dawn worked with us over the course of a year on a very specific project relating to memories and thoughts for the future during a very emotional and difficult period in the schools life. We were all grieving over the loss of a treasured member of school with our oldest children particularly affected. The Art & Grief workshop led by Dawn became an instrumental part of the grieving and the recovery process. She has the most incredibly passion, kindness and thoughtfulness and a very special way of drawing out the difficult things while promoting the positives. Art was the medium but this alone would not have had the same affect. It was Dawn’s personality that gave it such a vibrant and positive feel and one that the children gained so much from.
Dawn is certainly a talented artist but much more. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with and alongside Dawn.
School Art & Memory Workshop
A lOVELY COMPASSIONATE LADY
Highly recommend Dawn for anyone feeling they're not coping with their grief.
I was stuck in a loop of remembering how my mum passed and unable to move on. Dawn re-awoke my good memories & feelings that I had forgotten. I feel like I've got my mum
And to top it off, Dawn is a lovely compassionate lady with lots of compassion and understanding. Even though I've finished my treatment I still think if her as a good friend. Thank you Dawn. xXx'
Invaluable For Coping With Any Future Feelings of Loss and Grief.
Three months after my mother's death, I bumped into Dawn one Monday morning sitting in her usual coffee shop sketching. Fate was certainly with me that day. I burst into tears and poured my heart out. What a relief to learn of her grief recovery programme - I remember going home that day with a weight off my shoulders.
Dawn has helped me move forward from the most difficult time in my life. By piecing together all my incomplete past and present emotions and learning to 'forgive' by letting go of all feelings of resentment. Over the 7 week course, she listened to my tearful ramblings, providing me with copious tissues - never judgemental, showing me empathy and in complete confidence - and all in the most idyllic setting of her garden room with views over the Herefordshire countryside .What I have learnt from the programme will be invaluable for coping with any future feelings of loss and grief ..... Thank you Dawn x
"The work that Dawn has taken me through on the Grief Recovery Programme has been transformative. I highly recommend this course if you want to feel lighter, brighter and ready to skip forward no longer carrying that heavy burden of loss. Dawn is sensitive, intuitive, gently guiding to make sure that negative feelings are truly released. It's not therapy, it's a lesson for life."
The Garden Room is a lovely safe space.
It is a lovely safe space. I can’t thank you enough for the grief recovery programme. I’m coping better than I ever did. July 2018?
The way dealing with grief is portrayed in society is not the way we should deal with grief.
After getting to the lowest point in my life, my mum told me she knew someone who could possible help me get out of a very dark place I was in. I was very sceptical about going to grief recovery as I thought it was going to be me lying on a sofa and then being told to say how I feel. Before meeting Dawn and attending the 7 week program I was never a person to talk about my feelings and how I was feeling. As each session passed I felt myself becoming the person everyone knew me as, a person that is always cracking jokes, having fun and a laugh. Each week I was looking forward to going to my sessions and talking. Dawn and the grief recovery project has helped me in so many ways and has opened my eyes, and made my realise that the way dealing with grief is portrayed in society is not they way to deal with grief. If it wasn’t for Dawn and the project I don’t know where I would be today or even be here today. All the information about dealing with grief I leaned I have passed on to friends and family. Anyone dealing with grief I would tell them straight away to get in contact with Dawn and let her help you. When I first met Dawn she asked me how I was feeling on a scale of 1-10 and it was 1, as the weeks progressed the number of how I was feeling grew each week, and by the end of my sessions I was feeling a very high 9/10. And thanks to Dawn and the program I know that there will be days where I do feel very low but now I am fully able to deal with them in the correct way. I cannot thank Dawn enough for helping me.
Sometimes it is during some of our darkest moments we find the courage to reach out to find support and a chance to find the road to recovery.
August 2018 although surrounded by a loving family and great friends I felt incredible emotional pain, loneliness and a feeling of being totally lost. Whilst scrolling through Facebook one evening I found a link to the Grief Recovery Programme and decided to message Dawn a few messages exchanged and an appointment was arranged.
My story started 7 years ago after the loss of my sister to Breast Cancer and the messages I found on my husband's phone to and from his secretary, which I believed amounted to them having an affair. At the time I wasn’t sleeping, felt emotionally drained and couldn’t concentrate. I went to see my GP and he prescribed Anti Depressants. Initially, these aided with sleep, however after a while they had no affect at all. So I was referred to a Mental Health Nurse who increased my dosage - twice. In my case this made sleeping impossible. In my darkest times I’d go 72 hours without sleep, mind constantly racing, also being accused by my husband that I was paranoid, mental and it was all in my head. I couldn’t work and isolated myself.
I can’t really recall much from November 10th 2011, except to say I felt I couldn’t go on anymore, everything was like walking about in a thick fog, I was so desperate to sleep and shut the world out. So I consumed a large quantity of red wine (which I don’t even like) took an assortment of tablets and went for a walk.
After collapsing and being taken to A&E I was seen by a Psychiatrist and referred to the Crisis Team and prescribed sleeping tablets alongside my anti depressants. Regular visits from Crisis Team and then weekly visits from a mental health nurse.
Throughout this time I just didn’t feel myself, although I took the step to returning to work. Sleep didn’t feel real and I didn’t feel normal. I made the decision to discontinue my medication. It was a long haul but I made it.
So, here I was four years later in 2015, I thought life was great but something wasn’t quite right, husband felt distant and my mind was telling we’ve been here before.
Again I found some messages on his phone and the whole process started again. This time I was determined not to take any medication, still being accused of Paranoia, All in my head and mental issues.
My husband left last year, I now know it wasn’t all in my head, paranoia or that I was mental. They had been having an affair on and off for roughly seven years.
I’ve been apart of someone’s life for 30 years and I felt as if I’d lost half of myself. Hence the feeling of being unworthy and alone.
My first session with Dawn, I spent the whole hour crying, didn’t really know if the process would work for me but I was so determined not to go the medication route this time I listened and started to read the book and my completed my first homework.
My process started with Dawn in August 2018, my last session with Dawn was in January this year, I’ve yet to complete the program as I’m not yet divorced and that part will finalise my journey to recovery. However, I’ve resolved other issues and have moved on successfully from those.
What did I learn?
My story started the day I was born, not seven years ago as I initially thought.
We really don’t appreciate how the nurture/nature experience defines us to some extent of the paths we follow or how conditioned we are in life.
In my sessions with Dawn I was able to release, forgive and say goodbye to issues I’d carried with me from childhood without feeling judged or left raw and vulnerable as I did with the mental health team.
I’ve started to understand myself, find myself and enjoy myself making changes to my life and understanding myself.
Finding the courage to realise you need support and take that first step is the hardest. The Grief Recovery Program helps you understand yourself and assist you in becoming the recovered you, knowing and understanding that the book is also written by people who have suffered grief in many shapes and forms is an added bonus. The homework is a time for reflection and release which aids the whole finding yourself and empowering you to go on.
The sessions take place in a comfortable setting, very relaxed. After the sessions I always felt calm and ready to explore the next part.
I’d really encourage people who are suffering loss of any form to explore this concept of recovery. It most certainly supported me in being where I am today in my life. Feb 2019
Loss & Wellbeing Specialist
To book an appointment or for an informal chat about whether this is the right path for you, please contact me on:
opening hours: 10am-7pm Monday-Friday