Music therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, and the list goes on and on…. But when it boils down to it, are all of these therapies independent of each other or can they all work cohesively to improve the quality of life for an individual receiving multiple services?
What do we mean by collaborative treatment?
If your child has ever attended any of the summer camps that GCMT is involved with, such as FOCUS+Fragile Kids Camp Hollywood or Camp CreARTive, you’ve been able to see collaboration of services in a fun, lively environment. At Camp CreARTive, we partner with an adaptive art teacher, a speech-language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a recreational therapist, and of course a Music Therapist to provide an artistic avenue for children to learn and grow. Due to the various programming needs, they are a great example of a collaborative relationship between a handful of various professionals.
Just as the phrase may imply, collaborative treatment is the idea of professionals and therapists coming together in a cohesive manner to best serve the client. For example, one of our fellow North Fulton Wellness Alliance members is Precision Chiropractic. When Precision gives their clients a series of exercises and stretches, our music therapists can utilize Neurologic Music Therapy techniques to incorporate those assigned exercises into the client’s music therapy session. Now the client is not only executing those exercises during their chiropractic session once a week or a few times in the home but are able to do them through another venue while being supported by the rhythmic stability offered in music therapy. When doing these exercises in MT sessions, it primes the brain to complete these patterns in a timely and organized fashion that the motor system executes easier than without MT intervention. The same concept can be applied to speech therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, and again the possibilities are endless!
Collaboration does not have to stop with simply opening dialogue between therapists either. Music therapy can also provide support during other therapy sessions. Research has been done with music therapist “pushing in” or providing support during physical therapy settings. The most common example of this has been when a music therapist provides live music during a patient’s gait training. This allows the physical therapist to facilitate gross motor movements while the client is being cued by an aural stimulus he/she can entrain to. Another example of collaboration can be between other healthcare professionals offering support during music therapy sessions. Personally, I have had the pleasure of collaborating with a couple speech therapists during a group setting in the public school system. It was amazing, not only to have the additional support during the session, but to see individual students receive additional prompting that reinforced their IEP goals. It also allowed the speech therapists to experience what music therapy entails.
How Does GCMT fit into this model?
Did you know that GCMT also offers music therapy services at some other locations in the metro-Atlanta area? Building Bridges located in Cumming, GA is a facility that strives to offer families services for diverse needs in one central location. Their other services include speech, occupational, feeding, ABA and physical therapies, and as well as allowing us to rent space to provide music therapy. Their mission is to provide a “collaborative environment to work as a team to provide the best services for our clients” (direct quotation from Building Bridges website). Because they foster a collaborative environment, this has allowed GCMT music therapists to be in conversation about shared clients with other therapists. Due to the shared space, our music therapists even get to converse while transitioning clients from one therapy session to the next, creating a cohesive afternoon of treatment!
The George Center also offers services at ReClif. Located in the Peachtree Corners/Norcross area, ReClif is a fitness based therapy and community center that offers “a variety of services that include physical, social, therapeutic, and intellectual opportunities”. Per its website, ReClif describes themselves as: “a space that allows every participant to thrive to the best of their ability.” Their programs include therapeutic yoga, special fit, interactive metronome, spelling to communicate, traditional speech and occupational therapy, and fit light. Similarly to Building Bridges, this cooperative environment lends itself to several therapies combining forces to best serve the client.
How can I be a part of a collaborative treatment environment?
If your child is receiving a few different services, maybe you’d like to look into one of the two facilities mentioned above. We do have appointments available at both of locations! If you are interested in receiving services at either Building Bridges Therapy in Cumming or ReClif in the Peachtree Corners/Norcross area, feel free to contact our office to make an appointment today!
For our families who receive treatment at GCMT, our team is always willing to collaborate with your child’s fellow healthcare providers. We already attend IEP meetings, share notes, and speak with other therapists and health practitioners when provided with releases from our families. The George Center places a high value on a holistic, team-based approach to therapy by collaborating with members of our clients’ therapy teams, so let us know how we can support your family in the best way possible!