A program that will help you
Some mental health symptoms can be mediated with Occupational Therapy. Sydney-based Direct Focus Solutions (DFS) promotes mental health and well-being through engagement with purposeful activities using a neurodevelopmental approach to connect the brain and body.
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 a 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:
Activities of daily learning (ADLs)
Our Support services are highly flexible
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.
Occupational therapy may benefit children and adults who are experiencing:
Difficulty with social engagement
Motor coordination problems, e.g. kicking a ball
Poor attention and concentration
Self-care skills that are lacking, e.g. 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
Sensory modulation disorders comorbid with neurological trauma
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, nutrition, job readiness and other areas.
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.
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.
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
Schedule an Appointment
At DFS, we work with adults and children with mental health concerns and offer assistance to people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Combining counselling, occupational therapy, brain training, biofeedback and other services, we help people identify common emotional and mental health concerns and equip them with the strategies to deal with them effectively.
Our team is highly skilled in all areas of psychology. Sydney-siders can book an appointment at one of our offices located in the city where we offer a wide range of services to assist you on your road to wellness. Our services also incorporate telehealth, which means we can now offer our exceptional psychology services to anyone around Australia. Call today to speak with one of our friendly staff about your journey toward better mental health.