Throughout May & June, our Broadmeadows team (in Melbourne) ran its first Mother’s Regulation group to support the holistic health of people using Trauma Centre Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) and psychoeducation.
The primary goals for the Group included supporting mothers to understand their sensory profiles to support self-regulation, learn the principles of calming and alerting sensory input, as well as learning movement and building an awareness of body sensation through yoga practice.
The group activities took place over 8 intervention sessions of 1 hour and 45 min in duration. The team delivered the service in-person and online virtually during Melbourne lockdown.
Our outcomes measures included the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA-2), the Adolescent/ Adult Sensory Profile and pre and post group survey.
Amongst the 6 participants, all whom have a history of trauma, there was a number of sensory processing differences such as reported sensory sensitivity, particularly for touch and hearing.
For example, 3/5 participants reported sensory sensitivity “much more than others;” particularly for touch and hearing. Qualitative feedback highlighted that these differences were impacting on their capacity to self-regulate, co-regulate with their child and participation in everyday activities.
Following intervention, all participants showed positive changes to their interoceptive awareness. For participant 1, change was evident across 4 of the 8 scales (noticing, not-distracting, emotional awareness and self-regulation).
Based on our findings, we recommend that Occupational Therapy intervention should consider supporting the sensory needs of both the child and the parent. If parents understand both their own and their child’s sensory preferences, they will be able to create more positive sensory experiences. This in turn will support development of attachment bonds and a sense of intersubjective security between child and parent/caregiver.
We know from research that interoceptive dysfunctions have been linked to childhood trauma, PTSD, and adversity. Body-based interventions which focus on interoception, such as TCTSY, should be considered for parents alongside direct support for the child. This is likely to result in better outcomes for the child due to improved emotional awareness and regulation of the parent.
We look forward to running this group again in 2022!
Below is some of the feedback we received from the group:
“Resourceful & empowering!”
“TCTSY helped me to learn that I have a choice, and I can make decisions based on how my body is feeling.”
“Thank you so much for creating this space for me to learn, grow and be supported. Angela & Natalia you are etched in my heart as wonderful mentors, and I pray that we can work together in the future.”