Rehabilitaton Program of the Occupational Therapy Workshops
of the Psychiatric for Adults in Krakow

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The Occupational Therapy Workshops are part of a community program for treatment and rehabilitation of schizophrenia carried out for years by the Department of Psychiatry in Krakow. The therapeutic work in the Workshops combines elements found in wider systems of community care. These include an integrated team, continuity of treatment, limitation of the qualifying criteria, use of a multidisciplinary team, work in a "small group", and concern for a social network. These provide a basis for a methodology of psychosocial interactions which allows the creation and definition of rehabilitation programs adapted to the participant's individual needs and possibilities. The goal is to provide the patient with real life experience by creating a substantive offer of work in the workshops, help in carrying out an active day's work, and teaching social skills. Because of the deep perturbation of rehabilitated persons and their stigmatization, individual programs lasting several years are often needed complementary to sustained treatment. The final and the most measurable effect of rehabilitation in the workshops, the patient taking and holding a permanent job, is achieved by only very few patients.

Structure and goals of the Occupational Therapy Workshops

The value of the rehabilitation program of the Workshops with 53 patients  with diagnosed schizophrenia participating in it is the fact that it is integrated with a wider system of care which comprises together with work the treatment and psychotherapy. The further development of the rehabilitation offer is linked above all to implementation mentioned above new projects of "protected work".
In the Workshops' five workshops of occupational therapy and the job club there have been created individual therapy points (drawing 2) adapted to needs and possibilities of the participants. Working in a small group in one of the workshops is along with individual therapeutic care of participants [30] the basic element which organizes functioning of the institution.
The patients, according to the individual rehabilitation plan participate also in additional activities: computer training, languages courses, work in the painting and drawing group and in the Gallery "Miodowa" , in the theatre group and the educational group.
The most important rehabilitation task in the workshops is to take care of individual development of each participant in the Occupational Therapy Workshops within:

  •  basic life skills - i.e. personal hygiene, cooking and orderly skills, planning of free time, relaxation, taking advantage of cultural goods;
  •  basic social skills - i.e. making decisions, responsibility, expressing ones' own opinion  without fear, living in a group (co-operation, common responsibilities, taking advantage of help or helping others);
  •  abilities to live in the family;
  •  basic professional skills;
  •  abilities to understand the illness and gaining efficient means to deal with it [25].
  • Other tasks of the Workshops are related to the placement of the institution on the "axis of work" and the necessity to open up towards life in the local community and they are as follows:
  •  Assuring for the participants a suitable form of training by work [23].
  •  Stimulation of group of patients looking for a job.
  •  Maintaining contacts with participants who undertook employment and require further support of the therapeutical team.
  •  Supplying advice in the field of social law [21].
  • Maintaining constant contacts with psychiatric treatment institutions, centers of rehabilitation, protected work places and employment agencies. The ultimate purpose of this task should be to create a regional forum which would be able to assure the mentally ill the right to work.

  • At the same time the daily practice in the Workshops is based on the assumption of coexistence and equality of rights of three dimensions of the rehabilitation process:
    "treatment and rehabilitation", "living" and "working".


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