Before we elaborate on psychomotor therapy, let’s understand the terminology. Psychomotor is the influence of the brain on bodily movement. What goes on in the brain has a direct impact on the ability to move. Activity and movement may increase or decrease, indicating the presence of a condition described as psychomotor agitation and/or delay.
Psychomotor disorders refer to cases in which a person’s psychological arousal and influence increase, leading to the presentation of odd or seemingly aimless behavior (Encyclopedia Britannica). Examples include: pacing, speaking quickly, tapping, or moving objects around randomly. Psychomotor disorders are increasingly known to adversely affect people’s everyday lives, wellbeing, and achievements.
When we talk about psychomotor therapy, we refer to brain activity resulting in movement that needs to be corrected or treated. Furthermore, it is important to be aware that, “Psychomotor therapy is based on a holistic view of the human being. This view is drawn from the unity of body and mind. The notion integrates the cognitive, emotional, and physical aspects and the capacity of being and acting in a psychosocial context” (Probst et al., 2010).
To know whether or not a child suffers at the level of psychomotor abilities requires professional assessment, a series of tests at specialized centers prompted by referrals from teachers, special educators, and/or counselors. If children suffer from the difficulties that limit daily developmental movement, skills, coordination, and/or balance, parents are advised to pursue psychomotor therapy. Without motor abilities, children cannot actively participate in school programs and activities.
Through psychomotor therapy, children develop motor skills such as: the ability to move the whole body, to hold a pen or pencil correctly, and to improve handwriting. The more that success is achieved through psychomotor therapy, the more self-confidence improves, resulting in a life of physical and mental well-being. Therapists work to help reduce stressors which jeopardize the client’s ability to navigate a world dependent on physical activity.
Simultaneously, parents and teachers, with the help of the therapist, find ways to improve a child’s psychomotor activities through exercises that can be implemented at home and at school. These exercises are known to strengthen the ability to move, or to develop the coordination between sight and movement.
SKILD Center shares several activities and exercises designed to support psychomotor therapy efforts. They are easily accessible by parents, teachers, and therapists on the website of the center among the collection of resources that constitute its electronic library. They are meant to assist in helping children overcome the following challenges:
|Join and separate the fingers|
|The Importance of Maintaining Balance and Coordination of Body Movements|
|Coordination of Hand Movement|
|The Ability of the Child to Organize Her or His Body in Space|
|Distinguishing between Right and Left Sides|
|Precise Hand Movement|
|Strategizing to Plan for Problem Solving|
|How to Develop Visual Perception|
|Stimulation for Low Muscle Tone|
|The Importance of Pen Grip and Sitting Position while Writing|
|The Ability to Achieve Eye-hand Coordination|
|Child’s Body Awareness|
|Setting the Location of an Object|
We strongly encourage parents and specialists to go through this collection and to try and implement them; and maybe to share with us the impact they have when it comes to helping children improve.
“ COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges to higher education, particularly health professions education, because it required developing new ways to teach hands-on psychomotor … skills virtually. … The ability to successfully teach psychomotor skills in a virtual environment is [possible given the role of what are know as Mirror neurons that] … become active both when an individual executes a specific action, as well as when they observe another person performing the same or similar action.”
Source: Plummer et al. (2021). Teaching psychomotor skills in a virtual environment: An educational case study. Education Sciences, 11, 537. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11090537