Tag Archive: therapeutic work

Animal-assisted Therapy

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Animals are an important part of many people’s lives — their mere presence can contribute to human’s happiness, making their life more meaningful. However, animals may do more than just provide companionship.

New research suggests they can improve emotional, social and cognitive functioning in adolescents with severe mental disorders. The study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, examined the effects of animal-assisted therapy, which is an intervention involving guided interaction between a patient and a trained animal. The purpose of this intervention is to aid a patient’s recovery process.

“The young patients who feel fragile, needy and dependent on others in the hospital context, can experience themselves as caretakers of someone else in the [animal-assisted therapy] environment,” researchers said, according to The Pacific Standard. “This experience can improve their sense of self-agency and self-cure, and these positive effects are not only limited to the human-animal bond, but can be extended to the patient’s global functioning and to the entire process of care.”

Source: medicaldaily.com – Read more here

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There are well-timed behavioural rewards and endorsements built into the ward programme to encourage young people to keep on track. For example, after a session of education or group therapy there is always a break during which the young people have a drink and free time.

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Teachers in an in-patient unit have a broad role, including academic and therapeutic work within the unit, and liaison/reintegration work beyond the unit.

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Videoing of family therapy meetings and having members of the team observing family work is an important evidenced-based aspect of the treatment programme.

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Visiting nights are Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 – 8pm and weekends between 1pm – 5pm. Visiting is restricted to enable therapeutic work and groups.

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Specialist eating disorder teams offer a range of interventions including eating disorder-focused family therapy for anorexia nervosa.

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Exploring Ideas – a cognitive behavioural therapy group. Explores everyday adolescent issues and links thoughts, feelings and behaviours in order to establish coping mechanisms.

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The Occupational Therapy team are available to work with the young people with activities of daily living. This can be anything that the young person is required to do to function day-to-day when they are back in the community.

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The ward is moving towards a DBT focused approach, this means that some members of the nursing team and occupational therapy team have been trained in DBT Therapies. DBT will be increasingly offered in the form of individual and group sessions.

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There are a range of psychotherapeutic interventions offered to YP and their families or carers. These include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and family therapy. All YP are assessed throughout the admission, if they meet the requirements of any of these therapies, they will be offered to an appointment with the required professional.

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