Hello everyone. I hope you had a chance to click the links last month. If not all of them, do have a look at the Occupational Therapy video. It’s fun to watch.
How do you like this month’s title picture? Looks a bit like a brain cell, I thought. Not just that, all the coloured threads come together as the background professions come together.
Part 3: In Practice
The bare bones of CRT is a set of activities. Activities designed to help injured brains practice finding their own way from one point to another: A) answer / solution unknown, to B) answer / solution known.
Here is an example – one you can do at home:
- Take a pack of playing cards.
- Look at each card in turn.
- See or feel what it is.
- If it has an “N” in its name, like “Queen” or “Nine of Diamonds”, or any other name with an “N”, place it face up on your left.
- Place cards without an “N” face down on your right.
You might think playing this game is enough to re-knit connections. It isn’t.
The flesh around CRT’s bare bones is the therapeutic relationship between therapist and patient / client.
Activities + Relationship = Knowing.
We practitioners have this term, “Metacognitive skills”. There’s an old saying that goes: “Wisest is he who knows he does not know.” Metacognition is basically the neural knitting that gives us this self awareness.
Did you do the card game? Scroll up and have another read if it’s helpful.
If you’re with someone wanting to have the first go, they might be happy having you say things as they have their turn. Things like: “I see you’re hesitating”; “you seem to be asking yourself something”; “I’m curious that you went straight to that pile”; “I don’t mind stopping if you’ve changed yours”.
If you’re on your own, no one will hear you describe out loud to yourself what you are doing as you do it. I’ve had clients help themselves – one card in their hand, spelling its name out loud, telling their hand which pile to put the card on.
Therapy is mostly done in groups. Sessions are run at clinics or organisations like Headway. Like-minded group members can share experiences. Worksheets can be worked on by the group together. Some find working alone better. And that’s okay too.
Some excellent self help books have been published. For example, Speechmark Books have published exercise books and workbooks for use by therapists, support workers, carers, family members or the injured person themselves.
Having someone as a so-called “soundboard” is good – someone to review your solutions with and discuss your experience that went into making them.
I’ve a view – nothing clinically proven – just my own picture of fibre optic brainways and personality illuminations. What I’m about to say to you, whether you’re the one with or without a brain injury, is important.
It’s this: NEVER push; ALWAYS nudge. Go with your flow more and mind how you go.
Be like Olivia Newton-John playing Goldilocks. Settle for the challenge that’s just right. Experience how well you feel while doing what you’re doing. Get physical by listening to your body talk.
Seriously. Your brain’s personality, and your personality’s brain need to get on together to go on together.
Next month, a few paragraphs on Neuro-Linguistic Programming. (“Hurrah!”) Until then the Society for Cognitive Rehabilitation website is worth a visit.