Programs

Taking Action to link Brain Body and Mind

KICKSTART

Kickstart is a 15-week psychological program designed to help individuals manage the symptoms of mental health issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety. Each week, participants will have the opportunity to work with a trained psychologist in groups to examine in-depth and discuss a key topic related to mental and physical health and wellbeing.

These topics will include:
• Assertiveness
• Diet & Nutrition
• Exercise
• Goal Setting
• Grief and Loss
• Depression
• Mindfulness
• Safe Manual Handling
• Sleep Hygiene
• Thinking Styles
• How do I know I’m succeeding?

Each participant will gain a comprehensive understanding of each topic and be equipped with valuable tools and understandings to help them enact positive changes in their own lives or those of others.

Kickstart sessions will require participants to communicate and interact with others, complete worksheets and/or thought exercises, and share their comments and/or experiences. It is recommended participants bring a pen or pencil to help them complete certain activities.

SOCIAL SKILLING

Cooking classes  

Our cooking class “Ready, Spaghetti, Cook!” is run by Jay, a professional chef and support worker, and is intended to not only teach participants how to cook, but has been designed to increase their social skills. Recipes are simple and easy-to-learn, and each participant will be provided a copy so they can try making it at home as well. Through communicating and collaborating with both Jay and their fellows, each participant will build foundational skills for interacting in groups and in the wider community. Participants will also see improvements within:

These topics will include:

  •  Teamwork skills
  •  Social interaction and relationships
  •  Self-regulation
  •  Sensory integration
  •  Life skillsCooking classes are now being held online to facilitate social distancing.

DAY PROGRAMS

Multiple activities

Direct Focus Solutions’ day program takes place during four terms of the year and can be facilitated five days per week and/or on weekends. We maintain a focus on individual needs and understand that barriers vary from person to person. Our goal is to create an innovative and safe environment to best support the needs of all of our participants.

We aim to provide fun, structured opportunities for growth for people with disabilities. This includes NDIS participants with an intellectual disability who have finished, or are nearing completion of high school. We assist participants in reaching their individual goals (closely aligned with those identified in their NDIS plans) and provide opportunities to develop skills transferrable into the workplace. To aid this process, we additionally provide support for the participant’s family members / carers.

Our day programs also help to build individual’s confidence, independence, and access to the community. They can provide an environment for individuals to build meaningful and lasting relationships.

Our programs are built on a strong, person-centered foundation. We design our programs based on the identified needs and interests of each individual participant. Qualified clinicians and skilled support workers collaborate extensively to ensure that quality and achievable outcomes are incorporated throughout each individual’s program. These steps enable us to create a safe space that encourages our participants to actively engage in their daily activities, as well as our program content.

Our programs include the following options:

  • Creative Mindfulness
  •  Yoga (for kids and adults)
  •  Movement Group
  •  Cooking Group
  •  Bush Walking / Forest Therapy
  •  Swimming / Surfing
  •  Video Gaming
  •  Board Games and Puzzles
  •  Arts and Crafts
  • Community Participation
  • Fishing

PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT

Introduction

A PEP is a model that analyses abilities, identifies barriers, and allows for personal development in any given field. Performance programs have been used within the corporate  sector as a catalyst for success and growth, as well as in sport to drive teams and individual athletes to reach optimal athletic performance. The leading edge of such a program gives a demonstrable advantage over competition as well as an ongoing tool to manage all manner of challenges in everyday life. PEPs are not a new concept and have been utilised by individuals, teams and organisations to achieve specific objectives and goals. The Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) has pioneered strategies around performance and enhancement and specifically employs psychological components within their performance programs for elite athletes. Of note, peak performance neurofeedback has been recognised internationally and used as part of performance enhancement programs by:

  • The Pro golf circuit
  • Formula 1 teams
  • NASA astronaut training centre
  • United States Olympic Training Center
  • English Institute of Sport (Olympic Training Center)
  • US Special Forces and Navy Seals training
  • United States Army’s Centers for Enhanced Performance
  • Human Performance Institute, Australian Special Forces

Recovery is the foundation of peak performance but not just physical recovery – it has to be psychophysiological. The brain has built-in mechanisms that control the nervous system to switch on rapid recovery that puts an individual into positive and confident mood states, even when the body is still tired. This benefits individuals and teams in the sporting arena but also in their personal lives as the demands of work and perhaps family, along with training and playing, can be difficult. High quality psychophysiological recovery will ensure the highest level of stress resilience and positive mood for the individual, enabling them to deal with these demands more effectively.  Importantly, there is an identifiable link between neurological and physiological systems. This state of mind is commonly referred to as “being in the zone”, “on fire”, and/or experiencing the “flow.”

Tailored Program Development 
A tailored PEP is recommended to optimise individual performance and beyond. The program will be based on assessment and implementation, focusing on recovery, resilience, mental toughness and peak performance.

The key components of the program include:

1. Psychological (Mind)
2. Neurological (Brain)
3. Physiological (Body)

Psychological 
Facilitation of inner mental training strategies for positive self-talk, self-belief and state management to enhance mental toughness under pressure.

Neurological 
Neurofeedback is an adjunct therapy that can be used as a cutting-edge brain training tool to map function and train specific parts of the brain to balance and coordinate:
• Emotional arousal
• Focus
• Mental clarity

Physiological
To promote strong neurophysiological connection, exercises and strategies would be implemented to optimise or improve:

• Fluidity of movement patterns
• Sensory processing (movement/balance sense and joint awareness sense)
• Strength and endurance through core activation
• Hand/eye coordination

STABILITY & COORDINATION

Obstacle Based Program

Purpose  
To provide a tailored program that targets neurological and physiologic wellness by using elements of martial arts. These foundational skills include memory and attention, balance and motion, postural stability, social interaction and self-regulation.

Background   
Traditionally martial arts practice has been used for combat purposes. However, in more recent times martial arts is more than just self-defense. Martial arts provide an opportunity to build self-control and regulation through not only physical movement and body control, but also an attitude of respect and reverence for people and space. This is an element that may improve behaviour in children by helping them understand and abide by a code of conduct and subtly shape attitudes that can be generalised to many areas of life. Most forms of martial arts foster this style in a clean, low-stimuli space which can make focus and learning easier.

Justification   
The Stability and Coordination program captures fundamentals from Psychology and Occupational Therapy. Strategies in this program will assist individuals with identifying, quantifying, and adjusting skills to perform optimally. To enhance this development, Neurofeedback will be used to adjust the brain’s state of arousal. This combination is the core of the stability and coordination program. Our team will develop a personal growth map for the participant both physically and mentally.

Target Audience    
This program is geared towards children or adults who may have barriers to their sensory development, self-regulation and executive functioning and would like to learn aspects of martial art but require a tailored approach. Techniques will be taught to assist you in developing the skillset needed for the transition to movement-based programs such as martial arts classes or sport.

Benefits 
• Multidisciplinary support
• Increased day to day functioning
• Connectivity between physiological and neurological systems
• Better sleep hygiene
• Confidence
• Improved memory and attention

Evaluation Process   
The program will be consistently reviewed by both our Principal Psychologist and Occupational Therapist to monitor behaviours and capacities. This consistent review and evaluation will assist in tailoring you or your child to provide best possible outcome.

1. OT assessment/Observations
2. Graded session plans based on individual capacity
3. Monitored progress

A leveling system is also put in place to encourage intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as providing rewarding feedback for both the client and practitioner. The leveling system is broken into 4 levels which consist of:

• Level One (Yellow) Following instruction, body awareness, balance
• Level Two (Purple) Body to eye coordination
• Level Three (Green) Combination of movement sequences
• Level Four (Blue) Footwork, discipline through following instruction, consistency

When reaching the final level and maintaining a consistence pace, a transition to higher level programs can be recommended.

Program Outline   
The martial arts preparation program will run for 8 weeks or on a more intensive 2-week program for groups of 3-4. One to one sessions are also available upon necessity. A typical session will be 1-hour session broken down into:

• Stability and coordination exercises for 30 mins followed by,
• Neurofeedback session for 30 mins

Infrastructure/Resources     
• Suitable space for movement activity
• Therapeutic space for neurofeedback
• Instructor for Balance / Coordination activities
• Body Length mirror to assist with spatial and body awareness

Medicare

Yes, you can access Medicare for group sessions.

Clients can access Medicare for the group sessions with GP referral Item 80110 | Medicare Benefits Schedule (health.gov.au)

Patients will also be eligible to claim up to 10 separate services within a calendar year for group therapy services involving 6-10 patients to which items 80020 (psychological therapy – clinical psychologist), 80021 (psychological therapy via video conference – clinical psychologist), 80120 (focussed psychological strategies – psychologist), 80121 (focussed psychological strategies via video conference – psychologist), 80145 (focussed psychological strategies – occupational therapist), 80146 (focussed psychological strategies via video conference – occupational therapist), 80170 (focussed psychological strategies – social worker) and 80171 (focussed psychological strategies via video conference – social worker) apply. These group services are separate from the individual services and do not count towards the 10 individual services per calendar year maximum associated with those items.

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