At their City of Kawartha Lakes site, Lynx EPI staff are busy providing clients with a wide variety of recreational group activities that emphasize socialization and community integration. The positive outcomes of these activities are amplified by their careful consideration of group dynamics and their ability to cleverly disguise CBT and psychoeducation within fun and engaging social outings.
Nurse case manager Desmond Meenan works with clients to plan multiple events each month, with activities such as bowling, movies, swimming, hiking and picnics. The groups range from 2 to 8 participants, and often begin with a drive in Desmond’s van. “This is where the majority of CBT and psychoeducation gets accomplished,” he says. “Having people trapped in close quarters and generating/directing conversations about their illness, experiences and future goals works rather well. I’m always conscious of not making anyone feel uncomfortable and to the combination of people within the group.”
Desmond plans ahead to ensure a positive group dynamic. Groups are all EPI clients, with different personalities and levels of functioning considered. Each month, the CoKL group joins other Lynx clients in Peterborough, and both groups work up a sweat through personal training and basketball. Throughout the year, families are invited to join in on special activities. Family dinners are held during the winter holidays, corn mazes are visited in the fall, and multiple Lynx sites get together at Wasaga Beach each summer.
Conscientious planning makes these groups a safe place where clients can enjoy themselves and reap the benefits of social recreation. “What the clients seldom realize is the CBT and psychoeducation involved in these gatherings,” says Desmond. “With informal discussions in the midst of fun, recreational activities, many discussions ensue that educate and guide individual clients in managing their illness and continue on the road to recovery.”
For more information about this initiative, please contact:
Desmond Meenan, email@example.com