Using sensory approaches for adults and young people in mental health settings
Skilled and responsible use of sensory based approaches in mental health has been endorsed by the National Association for State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD, 2009) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organisations in the USA as one of the instrumental interventions influencing the reduction of restraint and seclusion in mental health care settings. In Australia, Tina Champagne (OTD, OT/L) offered introductory training to occupational therapy practitioners about sensory-based approaches that may be beneficial in reducing seclusion and restraint of clients in mental health settings. In describing her experiences in implementing such programs in the USA, she indicated that a successful sensory based program is dependent upon occupational
therapists who have adequate training and significant knowledge about the science and application of sensory processing and a method to systematically evaluate the procedures used and their effects on clients’ everyday function.
This two day seminar builds upon the introductory seminar (Champagne, 2012) and
uses science, evidence and case based problem solving to explain:
• Critical links between sensory processing and self-regulation as it is seen in mental health disorders
• How environmental sensory triggers enable or disable self-regulation
• How use of sensory based strategies can reduce the impact of distress resulting from traumatic memories or flashback experiences
• How particular sensory strategies can be developed for individual use from this information
• How to evaluate outcomes
This information can be used by occupational therapists to develop their clinical reasoning skills in the use of sensory based interventions, and to build confidence in both the application of sensory based practice and the explication of it to others.
This workshop is suitable for occupational therapists who engage in or provide supervision and training of direct care staff in the use of sensory approaches for adults and young people in mental health settings.
About the Presenter
Dr Chris Chapparo – PhD, MA, DipOT is widely recognised on an international level for her contributions to occupational therapy through teaching, research and community service activities. Dr Chapparo has co-authored the Occupational Performance Model (Australia).
Dr Chapparo has interests in cognition, management of sensory/motor problems in children and adults and occupational therapy theory. Dr Chapparo is a founding member of Sensory Integration International and the Australian SI Faculty and she is a neurodevelopmental therapy instructor.
Her research interests lie in the areas of children’s information processing and social participation.