SANCA Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre’s part-time occupational therapist Caryn Berman says occupational therapy (OT) has a huge role to play in substance use disorder rehabilitation.
She works with men at the rehab centre who are in the process of recovering from various addictions.
Men at the centre work in groups, that can take the form of discussions, games and crafts.
“Creative groups introduce leisure activities and skills that can be emotionally meaningful and financially rewarding, and consist of activities such as bead work, cooking, leather work, woodwork, decoupage, drawing, adult colouring in, chocolate making and baking, among others,” says Berman.
“Many patients get involved in the creative activities and have been following through with them in their own time in the evenings and on weekends, which helps to fill the long hours when no therapy takes place. This is a realistic training process for life outside of rehabilitation,” she adds.
While doing crafts, one learns valuable skills, such as following instructions, correcting errors and trying again until you master a skill.
“The patients love taking home items that they have made and giving them to their families as reflections of how far they have progressed. This also helps to improve self-esteem,” says Berman.