by: Jonas Foehr, MS. , Psychomotor Therapist/ Clinical Psychologist
Simlar to Occupational Therapy, Psychomotor Therapy aims to treat and mitigate the functional limitations of various developmental disorders. However, Psychomotor Therapy focuses on how different developmental domains interact and targets challenges in multiple developmental areas in a single therapeuric space.. More specifically, it accounts for how movement is related to other functions such as cognition, emotion regulation, and sensory processing. Psychomotor Therapists will, thus, consider the effect of thoughts and emotions on motor performance, but also use body-oriented activities to enhance psychological wellbeing.
Psychomotor Therapists commonly work with clients who have difficulties with:
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Sensory processing
- Executive functioning
- Social skills (especially their nonverbal components)
- Self-esteem and self-confidence
- Emotional regulation
- Body awareness and body image
- Spatial awareness
Typically, Psychomotor Therapy can be of great help when these difficulties co-occur, as it examines and targets interactions between them. For this reason, Psychomotor Therapists often work with children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), Learning Disabilities, etc.
Psychomotor Therapists select and combine different evidence-based tools to tailor intervention to the specific needs of their clients:
- Sensorimotor Interventions (work on posture, muscle tone, sensory integration, etc.)
- Cognitive Strategies for Motor Performance
- Play Therapy Techniques
- Mindfulness-Based Interventions
- Body Awareness and Relaxation techniques
- Dance and Drama Therapy
- Psycho-education and Parent Coaching
- Disorder-specific treatments as recommended by clinical best practice
Psychomotor Therapists also work in close collaboration with the parents and other professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, orthoptists, teachers as well as any other person significantly involved in the client’s life. They aim to promote inclusion and social participation and thus can suggest modifications of the client’s environment to make sure it is adapted to their needs.