"Group Treatment for Aphasia" is a perfect example of a paper on neurology. According to Cermak (2011), a group therapy approach for aphasia should provide a naturalistic environment fostering communication skills and building relationships through shared experiences. It was also found that those focusing on expanding vocabulary, identifying communicative intents, and discussing current events are more effective than those focusing on real-life situations. Multiple sessions should also be conducted per week in order to maximize the effects of the session. In the session observed, participants were asked to share their experiences regarding the hurricane.
This is a current event which everyone was able to experience, and to which everyone has an opinion. The session observed was also able to provide open communication for the participants by encouraging questions from the patients themselves. This not only allows them to build relationships with one another but to practice casual conversations. The use of pictures provided significant help in the discussion. Aside from the abovementioned qualities that focus on how to mitigate the effects of aphasia, the facilitator should also ensure that the group therapy session addresses the other concerns of the participants.
The American Stroke Association (2010) recommends that support groups should be SIMPLE: supportive, inspirational, motivational, practical, life-affirming, and educational. Supportive group sessions should be concerned with the condition of the patient. As such, the facilitator should ask caring questions and should listen attentively to the patients’ responses. Although there were glimpses of concern observed from the facilitator, questions asked could have been more sensitive to the difficulties they experience due to aphasia. For example, the facilitator could have asked during the start of the session how they are doing, what they are feeling, and what are their fears or concerns are. In addition, the session should be inspirational, such that the facilitator assures the participants that there are better days ahead, and motivational, which encourages the participants to be proactive in dealing with aphasia.
Although the session empowered the participants by promoting the use of communication strategies, such as the use of pictures, closing of eyes, and hand gestures, the facilitator did not provide inspirational words to the students. Supposedly, comments such as, “ I see great improvement from previous sessions, and there is a good chance you will be back to normal soon. ” However, it should be put in mind that inspirational comments, should still fall within the medical possibilities for the patients. Aside from being supportive, inspirational, and motivational, sessions should also be practical, life-affirming, and educational.
Unfortunately, some were not demonstrated by the observed session. Although the session demonstrated practicality and education by asking the participants their own coping mechanisms during stressful situations, the discussion geared toward the comparison of experiences, which should not have been the case because other participants might felt devalued if they thought the experiences of others were better than theirs. Most importantly, the facilitator should have ensured that the participants have enjoyed the session, especially since according to Robert Marshall (n.
d. ), patients enjoy group treatment better than individual ones. For any management plan, it should be ensured that the patients know exactly what these are for, and they see positive outcomes from it.
American Stroke Association. (2010). Starting a stroke group. Retrieved from: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/LifeAfterStroke/ForSupportGroupLeaders/StartingaStrokeGroup/Starting-a-Stroke-Group_UCM_310895_Article.jsp
Cermak, C. (2011). The efficacy of group therapy for adults with chronic aphasia. Retrieved from: http://www.uwo.ca/fhs/csd/ebp/reviews/2010-11/Cermak.pdf
Marshall, R. C. (n. d.). Group Treatment for Aphasia: an update. Retrieved from: http://www.neostrokestrategy.com/oldportal/uploads/Robert%20Marshall%20-%20Functional%20strategies%20and%20group%20therapy%20in%20the%20management%20of%20aphasia%20post-stroke.pdf