Is group therapy worth all the time and attention?
Maybe you are reading this blog with the idea that group therapy is a place where clients can come and talk about challenges they are experiencing… This is often the case, however in this article we are going to highlight how group therapy can be a very stimulating environment, especially for children. It provides a space where they can work cohesively with new peers and develop their skills to overcome challenges they are facing in a safe and supported environment.
Group therapy in relation to Occupational Therapy means at least one Occupational Therapist, working with a small group of children and/or adolescents. As Occupational Therapists working with children, we are assisting our clients in many different functional areas and these include, but are not limited to, the areas of executive functioning including organisation and planning; fine and gross motor skills, self-care, sensory preferences and strategies to manage these, as well as social skills and communication.
While individual therapy is necessary and important, bringing alike children together provides clients with the opportunity to practice and implement skills taught during the occupational therapy sessions in an environment that is motivating, engaging, safe and non-threatening. A group therapy environment allows the Occupational Therapist to act as a facilitator in directing the children to work together and problem solve independently throughout different activities. This in itself requires planning and organising from each of the children, and also pushes individuals out of their comfort zone to become an active member in a team situation. The environment of group therapy is one which encourages the children to learn from one another as they are provided with the opportunity to contribute and demonstrate their skills to their peers. Group therapy prompts children to socially interact with others their own age, working together as they would at school, sporting activities or in the general community, with the availability an Occupational Therapist, to provide therapy input if and when required.
Group programs are a part of our services here at Evolving Potential where children can come together and engage in fun activities designed to target common areas of challenge. Therapy can be provided in a much more cost effective way through programs such as these. Speak to your Occupational Therapists for further information around group program available in your area.