Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Obtaining the Maximum From Your Sessions

Successful outcome of your therapeutic sessions are dependent on a number of factors. While it may be obvious that a therapists skill, expertise, years of experience, place of study, willingness to consult with experts and his/her personality all have an effect on your therapeutic process and outcome, an area often not thought of or acknowledged is the role and responsibility of the client or patient. Let us take a look at what you as a client can do in order to obtain the maximum from your therapeutic services / sessions.

The first step is to acknowledge there is a need for intervention. Once this has been identified, a search may begin for the appropriate therapist. This can include requesting a referral from your doctor, asking friends, relatives and community for recommendations, calling therapists in local listings. For the sake of this post, let us presume you have found a therapist and begun sessions. Though there are times it is necessary to obtain a second opinion, the first place to begin in assisting effective outcome of your sessions is to keep your sessions contained to between you and your therapist. That means that unless you have a homework exercise or task that includes discussing the content of the session with another, it is preferable to keep quiet. 

How does this help, after all you may know someone who knows someone who knows someone who can either validate or add to or alter your session, how will you know unless you discuss what is transpiring with everyone you meet?

One of the first key goals in effective therapeutic intervention is developing a strong and good interpersonal relationship between therapist and client. Just as the therapist needs to keep the content of sessions confidential, it is good practise for the client to trust the process with the therapist they have appointed. In the event you come across a difficulty or question, take that back to your therapist, chances are it will lead to the next phase of your process or provide useful information that the therapist can factor into your therapeutic process. In the event that the therapist does not know what is needed in order to assist you with your difficulty, a good therapist will either research from the professional literature, ask his or her supervisor or a colleague with more experience or will recommend a referral to a colleague. In this case the therapist is involved in any decision to include another health professional and this enables teamwork to take place.

In the event that the client begins sessions yet checks out everything s/he is working on with all s/he meets or talks to, the end result is that all the "good" advise from well wishers can lead you in a thousand different directions, cause you to doubt what you are doing leading to confusion and feeling overwhelmed with the possibilities. In addition, many that one may come across, offer advice based on something they read, or something they heard from someone who heard it from someone who heard it from someone, hence their well meaning advice is often not based on professional training and expertise. While there may be times that this well meaning advice can provide an idea not previously thought of, in the writers experience, it more often results in clients undoing progress made in sessions and hence needing longer time to obtain the required effect.

For this post, the tip for the week is keep your questions related to your therapeutic sessions to ask from or of your therapist. If s/he is not able to answer them, then together you can consider the appropriate action to take. This is a responsible approach and gives respect to the therapist you have chosen to work with. In addition it prevents you from becoming confused and doubting the process you have chosen to work with.

If you have other questions as to how you can improve your role of the client / patient in order to obtain the maximum from your sessions, ask your therapist, you may be surprised by the answers given. You will also be opening the door for improving and strengthening your therapeutic relationship with your therapist and in so doing enhacing your sessions and the outcome. By being honest with the therapist, you will obtain a good yardstick as to whether the therapist has the skills required to assist you. Once again, a good therapist will refer you to someone better suited to working with you in the event that they are unable to assist you to meet your therapy goals. This is part of the code of ethics for therapists, certainly for Occupational Therapists.

Remember the main goal of occupational therapy is to help you to become independent in all areas of your life.


DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.


Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Commonly Asked Question - 2


I recently had a woman call, stating that she greatly appreciates Occupational Therapy (OT), that she considers it to be the most holistic profession and to have assisted her child the most. She proceeded to ask whether I give courses to Moms on OT. She does not want to work with everyone, just with children. 

My answer to her is the same as it is to other women who call with the same request. OT does have a role to play in education. OT does offer various workshops or talks or courses to assist parents to improve their role as parent. This includes:
 - Parenting Skills
 - Improving understanding of the development from birth through babyhood or also through childhood as it relates to parents and the information and knowledge they need in order to be better parents
- Education regarding games that can assist with the different stages of development
- Education regarding handling skills especially when there is a special needs child
- Education regarding sensory stimulation and the sensory diet.
- In short, those aspect of the therapeutic process where the parent has a role to play and that will enhance prevention of accidents and disabilities, promotion of health and where indicated rehabilitation.

However, in order to work with children or any other population, a person needs to study at university. Occupational Therapy is a University Degree of a minimum of 3 - 4 years. Upon completion of the degree in Occupational Therapy, an OT also needs to become certified by the Ministry of Health in the country where they practise. OT is not something one can do a few weeks course on and then begin to work helping children and calling one's self a therapist of any kind. It is a recognized profession usually through a Medical Faculty.

Should you be interested in exploring the process to study to become an Occupational Therapist, I would recommend contacting the nearest University that has a Medical Faculty and asking if they offer Occupational Therapy and what the criteria are for acceptance onto the course, how long the course is, any other course requirements.

All the major countries also have an Occupational Therapy Association. There is also a World Federation of Occupational Therapist. If you do not find a university near you, you can contact the OT Association or World Federation of OT's and ask further advice or guidance.

Monday, 12 July 2010

TENS Machine - An Option for Pain Management


 

Management  of pain is a problem for many medical conditions.

Some hospitals and medical centers have a pain management clinic. While some people respond well to hypnotherapy, creative therapy, massage, occupational therapy, medication and other treatment modalities, there are some who still suffer with pain.

How do TENS machines work?

Tens machines send small electrical pulses through the skin to the body. These are predominantly sent via electrodes placed onto the skin. In this way they alter the way in which the pain signal is sent to the brain and hence reduce the experience of pain.

TENS machines are thought to work in two ways.

The Tens machine sends either a high pulse rate (90 - 130 Hz) or a low pulse rate (2-5 Hz) . The high pulse rate helps to block the message of pain along the nerve being sent to the brain; while the low pulse rate stimulates the body to produce its own chemicals (endorphins) that reduce pain

Who can use a TENS machine

Since the Tens machines have virtually no side effects they are beneficial for many who experience pain. It does not matter whether the cause is Rheumatoid and Osteo-arthritis, Back pain, Menstrual Pain, Labour Pain, Peripheral Nerve Injuries, Shingles, Headache and Migraine, Cancer Pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Phantom Limb Pain, Sports Injuries, Sciatica, Aching Joints, Post Operative Pain, Muscular Pain, Whiplash and Neck Injury or another cause not listed.

WARNING. PLEASE NOTE: You should obtain the medical clearance from a medical doctor prior to purchasing a Tens Machine. Anyone who suffers from any of the following, should NOT use a Tens Machince.

* When the cause of the pain is not known or not diagnosed.
* Pregnancy (unless specifically medically advised).
* Pacemakers.
* Epilepsy or certain types of heart disease.

How to use a TENS machine

As mentioned, first obtain your doctors approval, or a qualified health professional such as a physiotherapist. There are various types and brands of machine. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufactures.


May you enjoy good health free from any pain or other ailments.




Did you enjoy this article?

Did you know that we are involved in a number of projects that allow us to:
  1. Share Torah with you
  2. Share Occupational Therapy and Health related info with you
  3. Help women immerse in a Mikvah for FREE
  4. Help newly married couples to set up their home together without the financially stresses associated with their new start in life
  5. Much more!
If you feel we're benefiting others, including yourself, do consider making a generous donation. For more about our projects, take a look at our main website and click the different tabs to find out more about our various projects: www.lovingkindness.co

A Brief History of Occupational Therapy


Two images to illustrate a form of occupation. In this case baking and dusting. However any occupation can be used as a medium of therapeutic intervention. Sometimes the task chosen is the aspect that provides the therapy, sometimes it is the structure of the task, the environment used, whether individual or in a group or specific techniques of the occupational therapist. All these factors impact on the therapeutic process and assisting the client to reach their goal.



Occupational Therapy is an incredible profession with enormous scope to help others, however, it is largely unknown and misunderstood. Most people do not realize that Occupational Therapy is an allied health profession that requires completing a university degree in order to practice. If you are searching for an occupational therapist on-line or in person, make sure they have a degree from a recognized university.

A little look at HISTORY:

Occupational Therapy really is an age old profession but it became officially recognized a little prior to WW1. One of the first areas in which occupational therapy began, was in what was then called a mental institute. The staff at a certain mental institution in USA were concerned that their patients spent many hours in bed and were not compliant with taking their medication. Hospitals stays were lengthy and re-admission frequent.

It was decided to try giving them a craft or industry related task to do during the day time. The result was:

-          patients got up more readily in the morning

-          their personal care improved

-          they became more compliant with medication

-          hospital stays began to shorten and re-admission was less frequent.

During WW1 and 2, a different version of occupational therapy was tried. Here occupations were given either to take a war veterans mind off his pain or to help to encourage a specific movement. Through these and other initial applications of occupation for therapeutic purposes, the far reaching benefits were quickly identified.

A lovely illustration of the power of engaging a person in a meaningful activity is illustrated in the book “A Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The story outlines the life of a child who is bed ridden and frail, including sensitivity to light, noise, aversion to people and more. When another child comes to visit and insists on taking the ill child out into the garden, a total transformation begins to take place. Just from getting out into fresh air, sunshine and participating in the exciting task of improving an overgrown, forgotten patch in the garden to a living, beautiful place to visit and play, so too the “ill” child begins to blossom. It is interesting to note that this novel was first published in 1909 around the time that the profession was first developing.

Around 1917 - 1919, the media coverage regarding this up-and-coming profession was that the potential benefits were so far reaching it would become as necessary as brushing ones teeth or nursing. The predictions at that stage were that occupational therapy would play a crucial role in saving medical costs by reducing hospital stay, improving function of patients that would have a benefit in terms of return to work and reduced need for re-hospitalization.

From the outset, occupational therapy required a referral from a doctor which meant that there was a need for recognition by the medical team. In order to ensure increased support of the profession, methods were needed to quantify and standardize what occupational therapy is. To attain this goal, specialization began and hence, where occupational therapy had been focused on the use of occupations as a medium of treatment, therapists began to specialize in types of clients or patients that they would treat.

We have dealt here with a little of the history of Occupational Therapy. In another post we will look at the title itself and how this explains further the role of the occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Which Children Will Benefit From Occupational Therapy

Children who may benefit from occupational therapy include:


Children who
  •  were injured at birth or were born with birth defects
  •  have sensory processing / integrative disorders
  •  have suffered traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
  •  have learning problems
  •  have autism
  •  suffer from pervasive developmental disorders
  •  have suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  •  suffer from mental health or behavioural problems
  •  have broken bones or other orthopaedic injuries
  •  have experienced developmental delays
  • have post surgical conditions
  • have suffered burns
  • have spina bifida (split spine)
  • have had traumatic amputations
  • have cancer
  • have suffered severe hand injuries
  • are sufferers of multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses
This list is adapted from the American Occupational Therapy Association

Talking Desktop Calculator

Occupational Therapy is all about helping people to be independent in all areas of their lives. Sometimes that means strengthening ones muscles or sensory processing. Sometimes it means teaching them a new technique, sometimes it means training them with the use of a piece of equipment that will enable them to be independent.

When someone learns mathematics or needs to be able to add prices for budgeting etc there are several methods to do this. One can improve perception and learning skills in maths in order to make the calculation either mentally or by writing it down. Often there is the need for the use of a calculator. If a person has a visual problem or even is completely blind, writing the numbers and feeling the braile, might take a little longer than if it is calculated via a calculator.

If they were to use a regular calculator, how will they know that the correct number was typed in or what the answer is? The answer is through the use of a talking calculator. 

The above talking desk calculator is available for sale through our Shopping for Goodness Store
This calculator has large size buttons. A feature that is an advantage is the auto power shut off and a repeat key. This particular one does not have a headphone jack.

If you have the need for a different assistive device or piece of equipment that can make your daily life easier or more effective, please do email Shoshanah for a consultation.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

What is Occupational Therapy - A Laymans Opinion 2

The next post of answers by those who are not qualified Occupational Therapists did have the merit to work with OT's. We are not sure what his profession is but here is how feels about occupational therapy.

"I have worked with post trauma head injured persons. An occupational therapist is different from a physical therapist but works closely with physical therapists in a rehabilitative setting. In one group home I worked in the occupational therapists worked with people who were attempting to regain life skills so that they could return to ... See Morenormal life. An Occupational Therapist may help people to relearn basic life skills such as cooking for oneself, doing ones own laundry, making ones own bed, brushing teeth, changing clothing, bathing independantly, shopping, using a bus or Taxi or even learning to drive again. An occupational Therapist may also be instrummantal in evaluating a persons skills so they can be introduced into the work environment. This was how it worked in a rehabilitative setting. I'm sure that this is also an important therapy for the mentally disadvantaged or the blind. These people are an important part of being able to give disabled persons a chance at an independent life and the self respect that comes from taking responsible care of oneself. A good Occupational Therapists career is filled with days of important Mitvot!!!!!!!!!!! :-) 

Not only in Rehab. Life skills for mentally retarded people to allow them to live more fulfilling lives might be part of OT. I personally am only familiar with it from my experience in head injury rehabilitation. Someone with bad short term memory may need to learn how to use a med-box and timer to remember to take medicine for instance and is ... See Moresomething I've worked with with clients and OT.s. I imagine helping make one more independant and self reliant and confident is a mitvah. Would it not be the greater Tzedakah to provide the net than to provide the fish"

What is Occupational Therapy - A Laymans Opinion 1

We posted on some social network forums to find out what lay people consider Occupational Therapy is. Here is the first of the answers posted.

Basically it is the practice of engaging in POSITIVE occupational actions. It goes back (at least the general idea) about 2000 years and is mainly focused at making people act nicer/more humane/more positive in their chosen profession.

In general,it is teaching people to approach life (or their occupation) in a positive manner and having them interact with others in a positive manner is great.

I think that you can say that those who need you the most will NOT know what an OT is. But to the best of my knowledge, the role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of activities or interventions designed to achieve specific outcomes It can be used to promote health, prevent injury or disability and improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independenc

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Wheelchair Accessibility - How YOU Can Help

One of the roles / tasks of an occupational therapist is to teach someone who requires a wheelchair how to be independent from the wheelchair. That means getting into the wheelchair, maneuvering the wheelchair, carrying out their daily tasks from a wheelchair, evaluating the work place for wheelchair accessibility and much more.

A wheelchair dependent person can be trained to regain function, however a large percentage of whether they will be able to carryout the tasks they need to are dependent on you, the able bodied population.

The video below shows you where your role comes in.



Next time you are out and about, stop and think of who else might need to use the sidewalk? Stop and think why there are ramps and are you providing those who need to use them with space in front of the ramp to access it with ease. There are many more areas that you can help. Come back to visit this blog and we will do our best to show you more of how you can make the life of a disabled person that much happier, easier and yes more accessible.


DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.


Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Making a Cup of Tea – an Occupational Therapy Perspective


Can you make a cup of tea? Can you imagine not being able to? Can you consider any reasons as to why it might be difficult to make a cup of tea?

Let us take the task of making a cup of tea and look at how it is applicable to occupational therapy.

Making a cup of tea can be used as part of an evaluation to determine a person's level of independence in the kitchen. When would this be relevant and for who?

Firstly we take a look at the person's stage in the life cycle. Since a baby, a toddler and a small child do not make tea, we do not test their ability to do so. However, we might look at where a baby or small child is positioned while a mother, babysitter or caregiver is involved in making a cup of tea. Why?

There are two aspects of making a cup of tea that pose a potential danger, and therefore an important factor in the evaluation is safety. While some people use an electric kettle to make a cup of tea, others heat a kettle or metal tea pot on a fire or gas stove. In addition, when the water is boiling, the boiling water is a potential danger. The electricity too can pose a danger especially if the kettle is placed in a low electric socket that a small child can easily reach. Hence the first aspect of the evaluation is environmental. Is the person making the cup of tea aware of basic safety precautions and what needs to be done to make sure the kitchen or environment is safe? Does a baby need to be in a playpen, i.e. safely out of the way of a flame or boiling water. Does the table need to be elevated?

Related to safety, if your child is to be left in the care of another, can that person be trusted with the safety of your child? It might sound obvious or unnecessary to check. However, a child I treated while still a student came into a children's hospital with burns down her front from a domestic worker pouring boiling water over her in a fit of jealousy. What triggered the specific fit of jealousy I do not know, but what began as the domestic worker making a cup of tea, ended in a little 3 year old in hospital in pain with severe hot water burns. We don’t want this to happen, so keep your children safe, that way hopefully you can enjoy many cups of tea together.

Once safety has been dealt with, the OT can begin to look at certain physical factors. If the person is blind, can they structure their kitchen so as to find the cup, teaspoon, tea bags etc with ease and without breaking anything. How will they identify that a bag contains tea leaves and not spices? How will they know when the cup is filled or nearly filled; do they need a tea-level indicator?

If the person has arthritis, can they manage to pour the water into the kettle and the boiling water into the cup, or is there a need for a tap turner and kettle tipper which reduce the stress on the joints, thus enabling the task of making a cup of tea pain free and possible rather than a strain and aggravation on damaged joints.

If the person has a hand injury, do they need to strengthen their muscles? Do they have sufficient range of movement to grasp the kettle or to hold the cup? Can they pour the water without any tremor (a tremor can pose a safety risk). Does the person have use of both hands or just one hand? If only one hand is it his or her dominant hand or non-dominant hand?

If the person has a problem with their legs, can they stand for long enough to make the cup of tea, do they need a stool in the kitchen? Can they walk where necessary to gather the ingredients or do they need to use a trolley or have someone else bring the ingredients to where the kettle is? Can they stand or do they need to learn to manoeuvre a wheelchair in the kitchen.

If the person has an endurance, sensory or concentration problem, this too is important to evaluate.

These are just a some of the physical issues taken into consideration when evaluating making a cup of tea. Now let us look at perception, cognition and memory.

Does the person know the correct sequence that making a cup of tea requires? When is water placed into the kettle? Where is the water obtained from, a tap, bottle of water, a well? When is the kettle placed on the flame or the electric switch turned on? When does one place a tea bag in a cup? Do you always add sugar, if so how much and at what stage? These questions all come into perception, cognition and memory.

Of course there are basic questions, such as does the person like tea? Will they ever make a cup of tea? If they don’t like tea and perhaps don’t like the smell of tea, we don’t even evaluate, as these questions indicate the person will not need to use the skill of making tea, although another hot beverage might be applicable.

It is important to know whether a person uses tea bags or brews tea from the tea leaves. Do they make tea directly into the cup, or into a tea pot to brew and then pour the tea from the pot into a cup? Do they use a china cup, a mug, a glass, a glass mug or cup? All these factors and more about the persons culture, tastes, likes and dislikes are also factored into whether a person would actually make a cup of tea and if so what steps are involved that an OT would need to evaluate in order to help them to prepare that cup of tea themselves.

There are some for whom making a cup of tea is not a task of the personal care of daily living skills, neither is it for pleasure. Rather, it falls under the area of work. For those who work in a restaurant or in an office and need to make tea, there are other factors to take into consideration. Can they identify between different types of tea? How will they carry a number of cups simultaneously? Can they balance a tray or use a trolley? Can they remember an order from several people or do they need to write it down? If they need to write it down, can they write? Can they write quickly? Is their writing legible? Can they read their own handwriting, especially when written quickly? Where will they place a pad and pen / pencil or piece of paper with the order on or will they use a technological device? These and many more questions and factors will go into whether a person is capable of making tea in the work place.

As you can see, we have already covered quite a few areas and this has only been in evaluating whether a person can make a cup of tea and where an OT is needed, if at all to intervene. We have not yet entered into the area of therapeutic intervention.

In another post we will look at how to use the task of making a cup of tea therapeutically, including using it with new immigrants (specifically to Israel)

Have you enjoyed this post? Please post a comment at the bottom of the post. I'd love to hear from you.

Shoshanah

DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.


Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special healing centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her healing centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

A Day in the Life of an Occupational Therapist

The video below is another well produced video found on Youtube. Although it demonstrates an occupational therapist working with a woman of about middle age, occupational therapists do work with all ages.





DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.


Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Best Careers 2009: Occupational Therapist Job Description

The YouTube vidoe below has a very nice thumnail overview of Occupational Therapy. It was prepared as part of Best Careers 2009.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Understanding Occupational Therapy - A YouTube Presentation

Sometimes visual images or a video presentation can provide that additional information and clarity required to really understand a concept. The YouTube presentation below was put out by AOTA the American Occupational Therapy Association.



I hope that this video has provided the insight you need to understand the wonderful profession of Occupational Therapy. Should you still have questions, you are welcome to email Shoshanah



DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.


Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Monday, 14 June 2010

TV and Kids - Is This a Good Babysitter Substitute?

Busy parents are always on the look out for how to occupy their babies and young children while they do what they need to do. Many of these parents will turn to television as a substitute babysitter. In this post we will look at some important facts that do have an effect on the development of your child. These factors should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to use television at all with your children and if so when, how, how long?

In his book Touch Points, The Essential Reference - Your Child's Emotional and Behavioural Development Dr T. Berry Brazelton, Paediatrician, outlines some very important factors related to your childs health and development.

What transpires when a small child sits infront of a television? Usually their eyes focus very  intently on the screen and their face, head and body will be still, immobilized. This intense concentration causes stress on the body, which will have an effect on the childs health. In addition, any loud noise, sudden interruption, someone calling him / her will result in a startle response. This startle highlights how deeply they were concentrating on the television. 

Such intense concentration is difficult for small children, especially over an extended period of time. If engaged in a different activity, a child concentrating with all their energy on the given task will let off steam by crying or throwing a tantrum, unless the parent knows how to re-channel the energy that has built up. A child that sits glued to a television is not experiencing any form of activity that will enable them to release pent up energy. As Dr Brazelton states "I worry about the cost of such intensity. A child's entire physical and mental capacity is involved in watching television. Her body passive but tense. Muscle tension reflects a stressed, not relaxed child. This combination of inactivity and tension is physiologically demanding" (Pg 410 in the book listed above)

If one is to place your child watching Television, watching with them and discussing various points does help to break up this deep concentration.

Psychologically there is also a price to pay. The high level of concentration will generally result in a child breaking down afterwards. Dr Brazelton states that parents should seriously consider whether with children under 4 years of age, this price is worth paying. In addition, children become fixated on items that are presente in advertisements. Unless a parent is ready to purchase whatever their child pressurises them into purchasing, it is better to keep adverts to a minimum or eliminate them all together.


For those who use television only for very short periods of time, 20 minutes at most, programs that are educational e.g. Sesame Street or a DVD with childrens nuresery songs in a ring and the children singing along, can have certain benefits, but only in moderation and with supervision.

When a parent places a child infront of regular television, with any program that is showing and intersperced with advertisements, in addition to the physiological and psychological effects of just being in one position engrosed in the television, the content also has an effect. Studies show that children watching something negative or violent will tend to have agreesive behaviour immediately after completing watching. If the program contains explicit language or negative speech, this will be acted out by your child.

The television does have a very strong impact on the thought processing and cognitive development including development of values and beliefs. If you wish to have a positive influence on your child, I would recommend preferrably not using the television, and where it is used, only for 20 minutes at a time, not every day and only with DVD that is appropriate for children.

Lastly, please remember, although children do need some quiet time e.g. when preparing for bedtime, children do need to play, run about, explore, interact with their environment. Immaginative play is a very important component of developing creative thinking. There must be adequate time allocated to these tasks and activities in order for a child to develop and grow optimally. Hence, other than the effects on the childs physiology itself, parents should be careful to ensure that the child will have time for the very important activities and play that will be of benefit to him or her and not use television as a means of escape for a parent. 

In another post, we will look at alternatives to provide quiet time and means for a child to relax in preparation for peaceful and effective sleep.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Early Definitions of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy has been misunderstood since its inception. As the profession has developed and grown, so too the definition of Occupational Therapy has developed and become more structured and descriptive of the unique role of an Occupational Therapist.

 In order to gain some insight into the origins of the profession, here are 3 of the earlier definitions.
 George Barton in 1914 stated: "If there is an occupational disease, why not an occupational therapy" Barton G: Occupational Therapy. Trained Nurse Hosp Rev 54: 138 - 140, 1915

In 1922 Dr H.A. Pattison MD defined occupational therapy as " any activity, mental or physical, definitely prescribed and guided for the distinct purpose of contributing to and hastening recovery from disease or injury" Pattison HA: The trend of Occupational Therapy for tuberculous. Arch Occup Ther 1:19 - 24, 1922

In 1923 Herbert J. Hall MD describes occupational therapy as: "occupational therapy provides light work under medical supervision for the benefit of patients convalescing in hospitals or in their homes. The handicrafts are used not with the idea of making craftsmen of the patients, but for the purposes of developing physical and mental effectiveness at a time when courage and initiative are at a low ebb" Hall HJ OT. A New Profession. Concord, Mass Rumfrd Press 1923

As you will see from the above three definitions, each definition adds a few concepts or components that the previous one had not included. 

Stay tuned for further developments in the definitions of the profession of occupational therapy.


DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.

Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.


Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Commonly Asked Question

Working privately, I often get calls of someone describing a brief summary of the information they know of a relative and asking, now what will you do / offer to improve the situation.

For ALL Occupational Therapists the first step of any therapeutic relationship or potential service is an evaluation. There are a range of evaluations or assessments that Occupational Therapists are trained to carry out. Some of these are standardised and some are specific evaluations e.g. testing range of movement, muscle strength, muscle tone, eye movements, perception (these are via a range of standardised tests), level of funciton in Personal Life Skills (PLS), Worker Role Interview, various other evaluations to determine a persons ability to work effectively. These are just some of the evaluations / assessments that an Occupational Therapist will carry out. Each person / client or patient will require a different set of evaluations in order to determine whether occupational therapy is indicated and if so whether the therapist evaluating is the appropraite therapist to work with or a referral to a colleague is indicated. The evaluations chosen will depend on the age of the person, the nature of the condition or problem and the persons situation in life. Once it is established who the treating therapist will be and all evaluations have been completed, then a treatment plan can be drawn up.

Prior to receiving necessary medical information or information from a teacher or employer and completing the evaluation, it is not recommended for any therapist to outline what s/he will do to assist. There are simply too many variables involved.

Hence, if you feel that you or a loved one is in need of Occupational Therapy, the first step is to book an appointment for an evaluation. Only after this can one begin to discuss duration of treatment, type of intervention and other necessary information.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Definition of Occupational Therapy - 2

The following definition of Occupational Therapy was provided by 
WORLD FEDERATION OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS in 2004

Occupational therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation.

Occupational therapists have a broad education that equips them with skills and knowledge to work collaboratively with individuals or groups of people who have an impairment of body structure or function due to a health condition, and who experience barriers to participation.

Occupational therapists believe that participation can be supported or restricted by physical, social attitudinal and legislative environments. Therefore, occupational therapy practice may be directed to changing aspects of the environment to enhance participation.

Occupational therapy is practiced in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, health centres, homes, workplaces, schools, reform institutions and housing for seniors. Clients are actively involved in the therapeutic process, and outcomes of occupational therapy are diverse, client-driven and measured in terms of participation or satisfaction derived from participation.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Occupational Therapy - Definitions Part 1


When building a house, one typically begins with drawing a plan, having the plan passed by various experts and procedures and once approval is given, we begin with the foundation. So too, in explaining a profession or the scope of the profession, let us begin with basics. Some definitions.

In this post we will start with the top. The World Federation of Occupational Therapists provides the following definition: "Occupational Therapy is a profession concerned with promoting health and wellbeing through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate, or by modifying the environment to better support participation."


DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.
Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.

Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Monday, 10 May 2010

The Background


Yes, you are right, the background does not say much about occupation. Why not an office? Why not someone busy in the kitchen, or doing something. Why green leaves?

Actually, there were some reasons as to why I chose this background. If you think of a better design for the background of the blog, I am open to suggestion. In the meantime, here are my thoughts.

Did you know that Occupational Therapists have a uniform? Yes, we actually have a uniform that is supposed to be worn when treating. Some years ago, those working in schools decided that wearing a uniform might be a bit off putting for the children, those working in psychiatric facilities or privately felt the same. Hence many will just wear a white coat or no uniform at all.
The truth is that the OT colour is green. Bottle green to be exact.

When I was a student not only was there a specific colour but the skirts worn had to be A-line skirts of a certain length below the knee. Some therapists found for certain physical rehab, the skirts were not modest enough and requests to wear pants. This was granted and again, with the same colour and a specific design.

So, I chose green as a background.

Why leaves?

Here too there is good reason. Occupational Therapy is a process through which a person grows. Many times or most times, the person will unfold, in a sense, as their hopes and dreams begin to be worked upon and realized.

Lastly, Judaism teaches that a man is likened to a tree. So too, Occupational Therapy works with the person from the seed of potential to assist them to become the greatest "tree" that they have the potential to be, all through the act of doing.


DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.
Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.

Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.

Introduction to This Blog

Hi Everyone

Yes, another blog. This one is a little more focused on my profession from the healing aspect of it. Some of you may know my art and photography, a few of my motivational talks, here we will focus more on Occupational Therapy and the other Healing modalities I am involved in. We will, G-d willing, take a look at how the other healing modalities are used hand-in-hand with Occupational Therapy.

Some may ask how one can devote a whole blog to Occupational Therapy. The answer is really quite simple. The profession is vast, diverse and incredible. From the time I began studying Occupational Therapy, in 1987, one question has been consistent.

"What is Occupational Therapy?"

The longer I practice, the more clients I work with, the more ways I find that Occupational Therapy has so very much to offer and how very sad it is that so few people know what the profession really is all about.

So I invite you to send in questions, challenge posts, enjoy and interact. I hope to provide you with definitions, theoretical background, historical background, some case studies, some insights and probably a lot more.

I hope that through this blog, you, the reader, will come to appreciate the wonderful profession that is Occupational Therapy. The scope of possibility that lies at the fingertips of an Occupational Therapist. Together let us learn what this profession is, so that those who really could benefit from intervention with an Occupational Therapist can receive the appropriate referal speedily.

Looking forward to getting to know you all.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist and Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor


DID YOU KNOW?

Shoshanah offers private consultations both individually and in groups.
Consultations are available in person, via email correspondence, Skype or telephone.

To book a consultation, talk or workshop with Shoshanah, please contact her via her website or email.

Shoshanah is in the process of developing a very special Healing Centre.

Shoshanah has a number of other blogs filled with valuable life skills and information. See:
Should you wish to partner with Shoshanah
in developing her Healing Centre
giving you the opportunity to sponsor rooms or equipment
in memory of a loved one or in honour of family or friends,
please send an email to find out options for donations or sponsorship opportunities.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...