The February 2014 issue of the OTnews (Occupational Therapy News) arrived on my doorstep last week and I was glad to see lots of interesting articles both about mental health, and children services spread throughout. I have had the chance to flick through and read through some of the features.
The first feature which caught my eye was the following:
"Applying old knowledge to new skills: Fiona Corless talks about combining occupational therapy principles with traditional relaxation, to create an ‘innovative business opportunity'."
This feature hears how an OT working in a Child and Adolescents Mental Health Service recognised a need for relaxation sessions in her service and discusses her journey in creating the right delivery of these sessions for her clients. It then states how she has been able to start an innovative business opportunity from the work she did.
The feature discusses how traditional methods of guided relaxation were not motivating or 'fun' enough for the young clients to engage in, also because of the nature of the service the clients were often not long term residents and so the original group which was running stopped. What Fiona did was start creating individual guided relaxation programs for specific clients tapping in to their likes and interests for example on client had a program using the theme of lions and another on Harry Potter.
The method used and discussed in the article I have found really interesting and I feel that it is a great example of an OT really getting to the core of client centered care and listening to what the client likes and how this can help them achieve their goals.
I have been thinking about how this interventions idea could potentially be used in the service where I work in. I work in a residential school for children and young adults on the Autistic Spectrum and although I am not sure my lower functioning students would have the social imagination and cognitive abilities to partake in an intervention like this it may provide useful for some of the higher functioning students, especially as anxiety is a big problem for this client base.
It is certainly something to think about, especially as it could be a nice way to include a multi-sensory experience.
Overall I think that what Fiona Corless has achieved is a brilliant and innovative interventions, one which combines relaxation with fun as well as client centred practice.
Happy OTuesday everyone,