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Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) Support

FND Support and Rehabilitation: Regain Control and Thrive

At Lifeworks Occupational Therapy, we understand the challenges faced by individuals with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Our specialised services aim to provide tailored support to help you regain control of your life, increase your independence, and enhance your overall well-being, inspired by the FND program developed at the Mater Centre for Neurosciences (Brisbane).

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a medical condition that affects the nervous system and the way the brain and body communicate with each other. FND can cause a wide range of symptoms, including movement difficulties, cognitive issues, and emotional challenges. It often impacts a person’s ability to perform daily activities and maintain a fulfilling lifestyle.

Occupational therapy is uniquely suited to address the multifaceted needs of people with FND. Our therapists focus on helping you participate in daily activities, from self-care and household tasks to leisure and work-related activities. By addressing movement difficulties, fatigue, pain, cognitive issues, and emotional well-being, our occupational therapists can create a personalised plan to help you overcome barriers and achieve your goals.

We understand that each patient’s needs and circumstances are unique, which is why we offer flexibility in our occupational therapy service delivery, including in-person clinic sessions, home and community sessions, and Telehealth services. This ensures that patients can access the support they need, regardless of their location or situation.

If you or a loved one are experiencing FND symptoms, Lifeworks Occupational Therapy is here to help you regain control, overcome barriers, and live your best possible life.

Our Approach

We begin by listening to your story and understanding your needs, goals, and aspirations. Our therapists work closely with you to create a customised plan that suits your unique circumstances. We believe in a collaborative approach, empowering you to take charge of your own recovery journey. Our FND program is designed to help you manage symptoms and resume daily activities without requiring an inpatient stay, allowing you to stay engaged in your daily life while receiving support through our clinic or Telehealth services.

Steps to Your Recovery

1

Understanding the Patient's Story

We begin by listening to each patient’s experiences, empathising with the challenges they face, and gathering insights into their personal goals and aspirations. This understanding allows us to develop a more tailored and effective treatment plan.

2

Individualised Assessment

Our occupational therapists conduct thorough assessments to evaluate the impact of FND symptoms on the patient’s daily activities, such as self-care, work, leisure, and social interactions. This enables us to identify the areas where intervention is most needed.

3

Collaborative Goal Setting

We work closely with patients to establish personalised and achievable goals that align with their unique needs and priorities. This collaborative approach ensures that patients are actively involved in their treatment plan and motivated to make meaningful progress.

4

Evidence-based Interventions

We implement evidence-based interventions designed to address the specific challenges and barriers faced by FND patients. These interventions target areas such as movement, fatigue, pain, cognitive difficulties, and emotional well-being, and are delivered in a graded manner to build confidence and mastery.

5

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

We recognise the value of a multidisciplinary approach in treating FND. We collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as psychologists and physiotherapists, to provide a comprehensive and holistic treatment plan that addresses all aspects of the patient’s well-being.

6

Ongoing Support and Monitoring

We provide ongoing support, encouragement, and guidance to our patients throughout their treatment journey. Regular progress monitoring and adjustments to the treatment plan ensure that the patient continues to move toward their goals and experiences positive outcomes.

Specific Interventions

Our FND program includes:

Goal Setting

Our therapists work closely with patients to establish personalised, realistic, and achievable short-term and long-term goals. We guide them through a step-by-step process to break down goals into smaller, manageable tasks, encouraging regular progress monitoring and celebrating achievements.

Fatigue and Pain Management

Our occupational therapists help patients understand and manage triggers of fatigue and pain, such as irregular activity levels, poor sleep habits, and unhealthy postures. We provide education on pacing, energy conservation, and pain management strategies to minimise the impact of symptoms on daily life.

Graded Task Practice

We utilise a graded approach to help patients gradually increase their participation in daily activities, incorporating work-rest principles and symptom management techniques. Our therapists ensure that patients build confidence and master each step before progressing to more challenging tasks.

Working with Psychological Therapies

Our occupational therapists collaborate with psychological therapists to address stress, anxiety, low mood, and motivation issues. We help patients develop self-awareness, identify stressors, and implement relaxation techniques, while providing support for graded exposure to difficult tasks or situations.

Managing Vocational Roles

We assist patients in identifying how FND symptoms impact their ability to study or work, offering guidance on integrating symptom management strategies into their daily routines. Our therapists also liaise with employers or educational institutions, advocating for reasonable accommodations and support as needed.

Aids and Adaptations

When necessary, our occupational therapists can recommend and provide adaptive aids and environmental modifications to improve patient independence and quality of life. We carefully assess each patient’s needs and consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of equipment use.

Care Advice

We provide guidance on managing care needs, whether informal (from family members) or formal (through social services), aiming to improve patient independence and reduce reliance on caregivers. Our therapists promote engagement in daily activities as a form of rehabilitation, helping patients build functional strength, endurance, and confidence.

Benefits

By participating in our mental health recovery services, you can expect to experience:

Improved Daily Functioning

Our interventions help patients overcome movement and cognitive difficulties, enabling them to perform daily tasks with increased ease and independence.

Enhanced Emotional Well-being

We address emotional challenges such as anxiety, low mood, and stress, leading to improved mental health and resilience.

Effective Pain and Fatigue Management

Our tailored strategies help patients manage pain and fatigue, promoting a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

Increased Confidence

As patients work through our graded approach, they build confidence in their abilities, empowering them to take charge of their lives.

Personalised Support

Our patient-centered approach ensures individualised care, tailored to each person’s unique needs and goals.

Our Therapeutic Environments & Activities

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the therapy process typically take?

The duration of therapy varies based on individual needs and progress. Our therapists work with you to set realistic timeframes for achieving your goals.

Can I still participate in occupational therapy if I am already receiving other treatments for FND?

Yes, occupational therapy can complement other treatments, such as physical therapy or psychological therapy. We collaborate with your healthcare team to ensure a comprehensive approach.

Do I need a referral?

You don’t need a referral from a health professional to access our services. You can simply call and make an appointment, or book online.

However, if you wish to claim a medicare rebate under Better Access to Mental Health or under Chronic Disease Management you will need a referral. We can often help you to identify your eligibility for Medicare rebates or even contact your GP to help you arrange for a referral

When a referral is received from another health professional, like your GP, we will contact you by phone. This provides an opportunity to answer any questions you might have and to schedule an initial appointment. This initial appointment can be held at our clinics or an occupational therapist conducting a home visit (see “Tell me more about home visiting”). The initial appointment involves an interview and any other assessments needed to give us an understanding of your current circumstances and concerns. At the second appointment we will work with you to set treatment goals and create a treatment plan and then begin treatment. This may include regular appointments and homework tasks.

Your progress is regularly reviewed in consultation with you, and treatment continues until your goals are achieved or treatment is ended by either you or your therapist.

LifeWorks Occupational Therapy services are delivered in a professional, confidential and collaborative way. Clients are involved in every aspect of the treatment process, including identifying goals and formulating their individual treatment plans.

Tell me more about home visiting

Occupational Therapists understand that your environment has a significant impact on your ability to perform tasks. Life skills can’t always be fully developed away from the places in which we live and the situations we experience in our home, our workplace and our community.

At times, modifying your home or work environment will be a part of the treatment process. With this is mind, it is important to include these environments during all aspects of treatment, including during the initial assessment and during any subsequent interventions and therapies. Home visiting also makes it very easy for you to attend appointments and allows therapies to be delivered in a space where you feel at home.Clinic rooms, work-sites, schools, and other community-based venues may also be used where appropriate.

Still Have Questions?

If you can’t find an answer to your question in the FAQ’s above, you can always contact us and we’ll respond asap.

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