Are you still humming “It’s always better when we’re together?”

That’s the theme of last week’s blog post and this week’s blog post: how to make the most of your collaborations with other professionals.

I love, love, LOVE co-treating with other therapists – speech language pathologists (SLPs), occupational therapists (OTs), physical therapists (PTs) and ABA therapists.

I have grown so much by co-treating with these professionals. And, my clients have benefitted from us all providing an integrated team approach.

Check out these videos demonstrating sensory integration techniques that I learned from co-treating with an OT at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Miami.

You can see examples of how to provide vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile stimulation. You can watch examples of how to incorporate the therapy ball into your music therapy sessions, paint brushes, gathering drum and even the trampoline (my clients’ favorite!)

What are some tips on approaching collaboration with other therapists? Here are a few ideas I have to get your started:

1. Explain your goals in non-musical terms

As music therapists, we know our clients are not “just” singing a fun song, they’re practicing clear articulation of bilabial sounds. We know our clients aren’t “just” playing the drums, they’re working on bilateral coordination and receiving tactile input every time their hand hits the drum. Be clear about the non-musical goals you’re addressing, and speak in terms that the other therapists are using.

2.Learn their goals

When you’re working with the same client as another therapist, ask to see a copy of their evaluation report and progress notes. Take a look at the goals and objectives, so you can see how you could potentially target those goals or similar goals in your sessions. I recently heard from a parent who said their child had reached a plateau in speech therapy. The child’s music therapist spoke with the SLP about the speech therapy goals, one of which was to speak 3-4 word utterances. The music therapist brought in a singable story (a song paired with the book “From Head to Toe”), which encouraged the child to sing, then chant, and then say the phrase “I can do it!” multiple times throughout the story.

3. Work together

Set up a time to discuss how you can collaborate. I had the opportunity to co-treat with SLPs, OTs and PTs when I worked at UCP and it was amazing. We worked together in both individual and group settings. If you don’t have that option where you work, set up a time to chat on the phone. You can share some techniques that may work in their sessions and hear what they’re working on in their sessions.

I truly believe it’s better when we all work together.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

Do you co-treat with other therapists? Leave a comment below and let us know how you work together and how it’s benefitted your clients.