Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy looks at improving your functionality by assessing the activities you can do and those that you find difficult. Your therapist will evaluate your current limitations, goals and motivations and present techniques and advice that will help you to accomplish more safely and easily.

Weighted cushions, textured items and kinetic sand are some of the props used in sensory integration.

The many areas that an Occupational Therapist can assist in include:

  • Exploring personal sensory preferences and needs
  • Developing routines of self-care
  • Support through identifying, practicing and engaging in productivity and leisure activities
  • Developing emotion regulation skills
  • Increasing independence through learning and practice of daily activities (e.g. food preparation and vocational activities)
  • Building practical stress management strategies for use throughout the lifespan
  • Exploring meaningful roles and building upon social skills and engagement
  • Working towards establishing life balance

    Sensory integration

    This is one of the key methods that our Occupational Therapists use. Our brain is constantly receiving information about the world inside and outside our body. It does this through special receptors measuring taste, sight, sounds, touch, smell, movement, gravity and position. This information needs to be sorted and organised for us to manage well physically and emotionally.

    By sifting through all the information and selecting what to focus on (such as listening to a friend talking and ignoring the noise of outside traffic), our brain figures how to act and respond to different situations.

    If our brain is struggling to manage all this information effectively due to mental illness, trauma or another reason, we may feel overwhelmed, anxious and distressed and struggle to settle ourselves. Sensory modulation targets the physiological and psychological aspects of mental illness and provides an alternative or complement to talking therapy.

    Over time sensory-based treatments can help us manage our physical and emotional states using sensory input from various objects, activities and environments. Where possible, the use of sensory modulation strategies are self-directed but some people may have a trusted friend or family member who can also be involved.


    What to expect from sensory-based treatment:

    1. Learn about how our brain receives and interprets sensory information and the impact this has on us.
    2. Experiment with different sensory tools (such as weighted cushions, hammock chair, fidget object etc) and complete a sensory profile assessment to establish individual sensory preferences and needs.
    3. Develop an individual “Sensory Plan” for managing sensory information overload if and when this happens throughout the day.
    4. Ongoing therapy to establish and integrate sensory-based strategies into everyday life.

    Sensory-based treatment has been shown to be helpful for individuals struggling with anxiety-related illness, (such as generalised anxiety disorder, social phobia and Panic Disorder) emotion dysregulation and who have experienced trauma.

    (Katrina Wallis, Daniel Sutton & Sandra Bassett, 2018)

    Occupational Therapy appointments are an hour long. The full fee per session is $180


    There are various referrals which attract a Medicare rebate for Occupational Therapy. Speak to  your GP about which pathway is relevant to your needs.

    OT services may be available on your NDIS plan, speak to your NDIS Coordinator or Plan Manager for more information