Group leading and Leatherworking

My beautiful snailie bookmark I stamped today

Leatherworking tools

Julie learns the hard way that leather stain is PERMANENT and if it’s on your mallet, it might end up on your shirt.


Today it was my turn to lead group! It was nerve-wracking but it went fine. I had to lead group for an hour (with 5 classmate members and the professor as a member), and then we spent an hour discussing strengths, weaknesses, emotions during session, etc. Mine was done on unconscious biases the therapist can have that can affect patient care. We had to do a group protocol (out of the Group Dynamics book by Cole) as well as find a journal article to support our choice. I was overall proud of how I did, I didn’t make any self-deprecating comments or cry, and those were my two biggest concerns. I did a good job of keeping track of time so we could get in all of Cole’s 7 steps in an hour (introduction activity sharing processing generalizing application summary). I didn’t have to facilitate much because everybody was happy to share their thoughts on the sometimes controversial topic of bias! The KEY thing I need to work on is exuding confidence. I was unsure of myself and it showed. It didn’t help that I ended up getting sick last night and was up almost all night and also had to make an early morning visit to Walgreens as well as knowing I’d be seeing the doctor right after Group finished. You might be saying TOO MUCH INFORMATION but I share because guess what. No therapist is impervious to sickness. It doesn’t matter how carefully you prepare for things, everything can change in a second. Luckily I was able to get through the two hours of Group this morning but at around 5am this morning I was wondering what would happen if I had to cancel it.

I am going to copy/paste two parts of my group protocol that I wrote up, and then if you aren’t interested in that you should just scroll past it because I am also going to talk about part two of today, leatherworking!

Outcome criteria:
Group members will come out of this exercise with a more self-aware, insightful perspective on their own previously conscious and unconscious biases, and how to continuously monitor their biases to ensure that they do not interfere with patient treatment.

Group leader will hand out list of “problem patients” to group members. Examples could include “27-year old male patient in a bariatric ward who has chronic diarrhea”, “32-year old female inmate at maximum-security prison with a shoulder injury”, “18-year old male patient who is homosexual and drug-addicted”, “and 67-year old male with paranoid schizophrenia in a mental institution”. Group members will then determine which patients they would most be willing to treat as well as which patient they would least like to treat. They will then be asked to journal for 10-12 minutes on why they made these decisions. Group members will then share excerpts from their journal as well as list their choices, explaining the reasons that caused them to make that particular decision. Discussion will include bias in healthcare, trust in other group members, generalization on how bias affects other aspects of life, and how they can become more aware of their own biases and how it will affect their treatment of others, particularly patients. Session will close with a reading of the poem “The Cold Within”.

Leather working!
We had a two hour session on leather working this afternoon. Believe it or not, this included a distance education component. We had the psychosocial OT from the VA come in and give us a quick and dirty introduction to leather working. Our distance component participated dubiously across the state, I am sure it was horrible for them to try and see little leather tools on a TV screen. They had materials there as well.

We were introduced to wetting the leather and stamping the leather today, with a brief overview of staining and other techniques. We practiced and then got to make bookmarks. We discussed the client populations you would use it with, which client populations you would avoid using it with, and how it could be beneficial. It uses some sharp and potentially dangerous tools but also can promote strength, fine motor skill, creativity, etc. For example. Good client populations: mental health, teens, physical dysfunction. Bad client populations: Arthritic patients, violent patients.

It was a lot of fun. I wasn’t feeling so hot during the activity but I still took some pictures and it was enjoyable. After the day was all over I came home and spent several hours writing up SOAP notes on every group member which I just sent to the professor. I unfortunately can’t share due to confidentiality but I am excited to get feedback on them.

Tomorrow I discuss the OTPF and whatever else floats my boat. By the way, I have decided I am addicted to M&Ms because the other day about 3 of them fell out of my 100 cal packet and onto the concrete and I truly thought it was the most devastating event of my life. And also by the way, I have a new reader named Paula who said she LIKES my randomness and that made me happy.

Aug 30, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

Blog Archives