Occupational Therapy Sydney

Some mental health symptoms can be mediated with Occupational Therapy. Sydney-based Direct Focus Solutions (DFS) promotes mental health and wellbeing through engagement with purposeful activities using a neurodevelopmental approach to connect the brain and body.

What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?

Occupational therapy teaches practical strategies that can be implemented in everyday life. These techniques support attachment/engagement, sensory integration and self-regulation to improve mental health and wellbeing. Consequently, by making use of familiar activities, such as cooking, cleaning or listening to music, you can develop mechanisms for coping when you feel agitated or unsafe. 

Most people associate occupational therapy with paediatric or physical concerns but its origins were in mental health. Occupational therapy benefits from holistic approach, and in addition to their skills in physical wellbeing, occupational therapists are also trained in treatment areas associated with mental health disorders, such as:  

  •       Cognitive assessment
  •       Therapeutic alliances
  •       Sensory strategies
  •       Socio-emotional skills
  •       Group process
  •       Activities of daily learning (ADLs)
Therapist playing a teddy bear puppet with a boy - Direct Focus Solutions
Girl refusing to eat - Direct Focus Solutions

Who May Benefit from Occupational Therapy?

Sydney-siders who are struggling with adverse circumstances in their lives, including grief and stress, as well as people with mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety, can benefit from occupational therapy. Developmental conditions, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), may also be improved by an OT practitioner.

Sensory Strategies

Occupational therapists utilise sensory strategies to help individuals process information from their environment to keep them grounded and calm. People with mental health conditions may not be able to process this information, leaving them feeling distressed and insecure. Thus, sensory strategies may activate these processing systems and are particularly effective for those who may not derive benefit from other therapies. 

Occupational therapists may be of assistance in leading groups in life skills, money management, therapeutic cooking, wellness recovery action plans, independent living, sensory groups, nutritionjob readiness and other areas. 

How can Occupational Therapy may assist with a variety of conditions

Occupational therapy may benefit children and adults who are experiencing: 

  •       Difficulty with social engagement
  •       Motor coordination problems, eg kicking a ball
  •       Poor attention and concentration
  •       Self-care skills that are lacking, eg eating or sleeping
  •       Oversensitivity to sensations such as sound, sight, taste, smell, touch and movement
  •       Poor emotional regulation
  •       Inability to engage effectively with everyday routines
  •       Fussy eating
  •       Sensory modulation disorders comorbid with neurological trauma

What are the Occupational Therapy Programs at Sydney’s DFS?

As part of our multidisciplinary team at DFS, our OT specialists can provide occupational therapy solutions in Sydney and the surrounding areas.  We deliver holistic, tailor-made therapies that are as individual as our client needs. Some of the programs and models we use include: 

Therapeutic Listening

Therapeutic listening by Vital Links is used for treating individuals who have difficulty with listening, processing sensory information, attention and communication. Developed by Vital Links, it is a program that uses sounds to harness the brain so that sounds are processed more effectively, helping listeners to focus and engage with the world more fully. It may include music or ambient sounds, such as frogs croaking or birdsong. 

Wilbarger Therapressure  Protocol

This protocol is used in children with sensory defensiveness, which is to say they react excessively to sensory input with what most people would interpret as negative behaviours or emotions. The protocol is referred to as brushing therapy as it involves brushing the body with a small brush throughout the day. Sensory defensiveness may derive from touch, hearing, smell, vision and balance and include:  

  •       Tactile defensiveness—aversive reaction to clothing, hair brushing and avoiding activities that involve body contact
  •       Olfactory defensiveness—distress caused by smells, such as people, clothing and toys
  •       Visual defensiveness—light hypersensitivity; avoiding eye contact
  •       Auditory defensiveness—alarmed or panicked by noises, such as crying, sirens or the vacuum cleaner
  •       Vestibular defensiveness—also known as gravitational insecurity where an irrational fear of changing position is a reaction to any movement where the feet are lifted off the ground
A therapist playing with a child - Direct Focus Solutions
Young girl playing with a green spiky ball - Direct Focus Solutions

Attachment/engagement approach

Children who have experienced trauma may be impaired in their ability to develop healthy emotional attachments. In order to support them, we have a range of strategies to enable children to function well at home, school and in the community. By providing focussed ways of strengthening emotional connections, self-esteem, emotional resilience and trust can be rebuilt to enable children to feel safe, secure and worthy. 

ALERT program

The ALERT program is an Occupational Therapy program run at our Sydney clinic. It offers self-regulation for both children and adults that can help with a wide range of scenarios, from staying centred to aiding concentration. It includes Group Programs, such as:  

  •       Social Cooking Group
  •       Coordination and Stability Program
  •       Community Integration Program
  •       Performance Enhancement Program

Contact Us to Find Out More About  Occupational Therapy in Sydney

Learn how to handle life’s challenges better with occupational therapy at our  Sydney-based clinics. Get in touch with us so we can schedule an appointment at one of our offices, or online with a telehealth consultation. 

Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Support Work

Contact Direct Focus Solutions on the number below to learn more about how we can help you!

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