UCLL Speech-Language Pathologists Present at MSHA
University Center for Language and Literacy speech-language pathologists Mimi Block and Kaitlyn Ayres recently presented at the 2016 Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) conference for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. They discussed how aphasia groups have become a popular form of therapy since they can be used to help clients of any severity of aphasia and at any stage of recovery. Because aphasia can be socially isolating, groups are a great way for those with aphasia to connect with others in the same situation, while practicing language work in a safe environment.
Group therapy helps:
- Promote successful communication in a social setting.
- Shift a client’s focus from their difficulties to helping others in the group.
- Increase self-confidence.
- Promote compassionate behavior toward others with aphasia.
In their MSHA presentation, Mimi and Kait provided examples of group therapy from the University of Michigan Aphasia Community (UMAC) program. They outlined communicative strategies and used videos to show therapy activities that have been beneficial to UMAC participants and their families. Mimi and Kait finished the presentation by reviewing the advantages and efficacy of aphasia groups.
Outcomes of group therapy include:
- Members gain a sense of community.
- An increase in the variety of communicative acts.
- Improved psychosocial function both directly and indirectly.
- Interpersonal interactions.
- It’s a cost-effective method of providing service.
- Caregivers learn to use multimodal strategies in conversation.
- Caregivers gain perspective and a better understanding of aphasia.