For us, activation therapy focuses on people. It is part of our wide range of treatments. Activation therapy is a component of additional medical and therapeutic treatment measures. Everything is intertwined and, therefore, very effective.
What do we do in activation therapy? Above all, we work creatively with different materials such as soapstone, felt and colours. We often introduce patients to new creative activities they have never tried. Many come to us because they are very stressed in their professional lives and feel very strained. Creative crafts help us to calm down, relax, get back to ourselves, find ways to break through the carousel of thoughts. Activation therapy stabilizes our patients during their hospital stay. Their self-confidence and self-awareness are strengthened. This way, we prepare them for their discharge day but also counteract withdrawal tendencies.
It is important to us to reactivate and promote their resources, which are buried in their everyday lives over time. By retrieving the «head to hand», our patients experience their own inner balance. We meet once or twice a week to work creatively together for about an hour and a half. Depending on this, we work with four to five patients per activation day. Some materials are searched for by the patients themselves around the private clinic MENTALVA. Together, we then think about ways to create something new from those materials. Sustainability is important to us. Our patients choose for themselves what they want to do with us. However, we also motivate them to discover the unknown. Often, they find joy in mandalas or painting, watercolouring, learning Japanese bookbinding or writing.
First and foremost is joy
Craftsmanship is not about talent, or whether something turns out well or less well, it’s about finding joy in something again. Humour is an important part of everything we do. Painting or working on a soapstone sculpture incorporates many elements of mindfulness, patience and concentration. We perceive our patients in their personality and creative work, feel how they are doing, and pick them up. For example, during activation therapy, we also talk about what they need for their inner security, what they want to achieve, and what goals they want to set themselves. We don't exert any pressure. We try not to under- and not to overwhelm them. But we challenge them to a certain extent and motivate them. Because if you are in a depressive phase, it is difficult to motivate yourself. It is important to us to pick up the patient where he/she is at the moment. The range within activation therapy is wide. It ranges from having fun and joy to a therapeutic conversation. The feedback from our MENTALVA guests is good.
Learning to ground oneself
In the therapy plan, we also include visits to museums and markets or take part in the village tours in Thusis. If you feel like it, come along. Sometimes, we give a little nudge. Anyone who works in activation therapy like us should be enthusiastic. This is contagious. Both of us are quite versatile ourselves and can teach very different crafts. Our goal is that when our patients go home and back to their everyday lives, they continue with painting and the other crafts that they discovered and tried out during their two to three months with us. We see this as another helpful and sustainable process. He helps to ground oneself. One of the goals is that patients learn that there is a need for a balance between exercise and relaxation, activity and recovery. They recognize how they can actively influence their way of life, which is essential for their quality of life and their health. Since an interdisciplinary team exchanges views on the well-being of patients at the MENTALVA Private Clinic, everyone involved is always informed. A direct oral exchange is the best way to do good for our patients.