Co-Treatment Magic at MMPosted January 17, 2018
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What is a “co-treat” anyway and how will this benefit my child? That is usually one of the first things we get asked when we start discussing this option with families.
Let’s break it down: A co-treatment or co-treat means that different therapists are working together with a client at the same time. The combination of therapy helps us reach the client’s goals in an efficient and holistic manner. By combining therapeutic programs we can have more impact on addressing the needs of the client. For example, a client can receive speech language services and occupational therapy in the same session – helping the client to utilize both strategies in an activity. Team work between therapists and a playful approach to therapy keep the session engaging but not overwhelming for the client.
We recognize that our client’s unique, personal needs and therapeutic goals are not separate entities. Often, the way a child will develop, learn and grow is linked to all the different parts of what makes them their own person: the physical, the emotional, the social, and the sensory. Our brains do not work in isolation so different therapeutic strategies will always impact each other. They can compliment and support the growth of a holistic therapy approach.
The Top 3 Reasons to Choose a Co-treat:
- Client goals are addressed by the team allowing for a holistic approach
Multiple therapists are actively working on the different goals simultaneously, while promoting and supporting each other and the client. For example:
The OT is working on improving sensory processing, while the SLP is working on social communication skills. The SLP helps guide the interactions and the OT helps to structure the environment and adapt the activities to support regulation and improve sensory processing.
A child is learning gross motor skills and improving strength through physiotherapy, while the SLP supports communication through signing and teaching all members of the team how to use visual supports for communication.
- Improved collaboration means we support the client together
Working together facilitates collaboration where therapists can discuss the goals, changing needs and overall plans throughout the therapeutic process. It can allow for all goals to be reached in a shorter period of time as plans are consistently updated each time the child reaches all their goals.
An important part of what we do to support families at MM is to provide opportunities to empower parents to teach therapeutic strategies. There may be some opportunities during a co-treat when one of the therapists works directly with a child while the other therapist is coaching the parents on how to employ the same strategy at home. It is a great way to address challenges together as a team (both therapist and parent) and adapt the activities as needed.
- Time Management makes the most of your therapy sessions
Let’s face it – there are only so many hours in a week. There is not always enough time to get to every service that your child needs in a timely manner. Sometimes families feel like they are constantly running from one appointment to the next! As such, combining services helps to create some space in a family’s schedule to allow you to have time to just be together and have fun.
We like to provide families with the flexibility of choosing the amount of time you need with each specific therapist. Sometimes a child needs some time to stretch before a session and so the PT starts and halfway through that session the SLP joins as they ramp up the activities to meet the set goals for that day. It is always still done within the context of supporting each-other and the child’s goals and needs.
Experience the ‘Co-Treat Magic’
As therapists we will often talk about the “magic of a co-treat”. This is the moment when the two therapies are in synergy with one another, and the results are more than what would have been expected with just a standalone therapy. It is not a “my turn – your turn” type of session. It is an art form blended within the science of integrating multiple services. Two minds are better than one, and the ability to problem solve and combine ideas in the moment brings forth therapy co-treatment gold!
We have had the privilege of working with many clients through co-treatments and the feedback has been positive and inspiring. It is this positive feedback that continues to push us to a greater coordination of services – to keep striving for a holistic approach to services for you and your family.
If you feel your child would benefit from a co-treatment or simply want to learn more about how it might work for your family, please do not hesitate to talk to your therapist.
As always, MM is in the business of helping you and your family achieve your goals. Co-treats are one very special way we can work together to make it happen.
Tamsin, OT and MM Owner