For our Colleagues: Adding A Bright Futures OT to Your Client’s Team .
Do you have any clients who deeply want to change their daily lives, but seem unable to translate their insight and determination into action? Perhaps you assign homework, but something gets in the way of its completion, or there seems to be a lack of opportunities for him or her to practice new skills. Bright Futures can facilitate clients’ applying newly developing skills to real-life contexts, and practicing them with skillful support and feedback.
A theoretical example: Karen is working with her psychotherapist to increase self-confidence and social skills in order to do everyday activities outside of her home, such as shopping and volunteer work. She has been taking medication for anxiety, learning positive self-talk, and role-playing interactions, but still rarely leaves her home except to attend appointments. She and you feel a bit stuck.
Upon your referral, a Bright Futures occupational therapist (OT) can meet with Karen and you for a no-cost get-acquainted meeting. Soon thereafter, the OT and Karen will quickly determine her priorities, interests, and preferences, as well as activities or places to avoid initially. A supportive, open relationship will be established by doing some activities together in comfortable contexts, such as the client’s own kitchen, yard, or neighborhood. As soon as possible, sessions will move into activities and settings that the client values, but has been unable to approach independently. The OT will provide support and feedback that is congruent with her goals and your therapeutic approach.
If Karen signs a release of information, Bright Futures OT will be a valuable source of information to you, and to Karen. We will provide you with verbal and/or written summaries of Karen’s progress, and Karen will be guided to reflect on her reactions and performance during and after the various experiences. The OT will see Karen in her own home and community, and in new situations that fit Karen’s goals, such as informational meetings at places where she might like to work, volunteer, or attend classes, stores and restaurants, or social/leisure activities. These sessions will allow evaluative observation, coaching, and practice of emerging skills. Karen will become increasingly confident and capable, and will begin to initiate doing more activities independently. Over time, Karen will become too busy for her OT sessions, and Bright Futures will become a fond memory as she engages in a more fulfilled life.
Would you like to chat about how Bright Futures OT may fit into your clients’ treatment? I have 35+ years of experience working in mental health and developmental disabilities, and I would love to connect with you!
Please contact me at 636-399-8910, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.