Within the genre of fiction there is this idea of enchanted objects. This broadly includes stories centered around the effects or process of obtaining some item with value or magic. A common example is Lord of the Rings.
Another use of the concept of enchanted objects includes the wardrobe of most superheroes. Strictly speaking this might include Thor’s hammer or Wonder Woman’s Lasso. Loosely speaking this could be expanded in concept to what creates the identity of Batman with his belt or Captain America with his shield even though they might not be magical.
How this relates to treatment
What are your enchanted objects?
You don’t have to have only one. Another question could be, what’s your thing?
If you hadn’t noticed from an earlier post, the best example of my thing or enchanted objects could be paint swatches. However, it depends on the group. I admit, there is a part of me that would like to me known as the “The paper airplane OT” or the “paint swatch guy.”
Related Topic: Paint Swatches: Cant’t Beat Free Resources
The purpose of identifying opportunities to use enchanted objects is to capture the curiosity and interest of the participants. I find, with their curiosity and interest comes their focus and attention. Though this would be a great opportunity for research.
Being able to maintain the focus and attention of any crowd is an incredibly difficult skill. That is arguably the hardest part of leading groups. If it was easy, then Universities wouldn’t have such a difficult time. As we can all relate at some point; lectures can be boring.
Certain truths have become mainstream. Purely lecturing is not known to be a fantastic way to maintain the focus of an audience. We are incredibly visual human beings.
Some may have a natural ability to public speak and also have a natural way to maintain the attention of an audience, while others are not the greatest stand up comedians.
But for you who do not feel as talented, or want to do a better job; I encourage you to discover and utilize enchanted objects.
An example includes facilitating a discussion through the context of a card game. Its already engaging to use an active game, but when I can, I’m always thinking of ways I can bring it to the next level. This could be simply the warm up.
How do I bring it to the next level?
Enchanted Object: Jumbo Cards
I find the reveal an important aspect, either I unveil them dramatically, or I nonchalantly make them visible and vaguely avoid answering the question“are these really giant cards?”
I find the atmosphere changes upon the use of Jumbo Cards because it’s new and interesting. I would like to find a way to incorporate Jumbo Cards and mini Cards in the same activity but have not yet. Looking for ideas of you have any.
Enchanted Object: Fidget Cube
Have you seen the latest trend in mainstream fidgets? The fidget cube is currently gold in terms of novelty. During sensory topic groups, regardless of the patients actual needs. Participants are interested in seeing the enchanted object that very little convincing to participate takes place.
I often pass around various sensory objects and have patients describe the qualities of it.
Enchanted Object: Magic Cube
Sometimes I just bring interesting “enchanted” objects for the fun of it. Magic cubes are an old-school project. When I have encouraged patients to make one, I find there is an uninterested response. This may be coincidently.
However, in contrast, I find if I set out a magic cube during another group nonchalantly, patients are interested and then start saying “can we make these?” then they are self motivated to participate in a group around making magic cubes.
Yes, the magic cubes make a great home-made fidget project. I will elaborate in further detail in a dedicated topic post in the future!
By all means, I do believe in being authentic and I am not encouraging manipulating people.
However, we are trying to lead meaningful and purposeful activity. It is often up to the OT to reveal the possibility of meaning and purpose that can be found when those stuck can’t see it.
Again, the concepts described here are personal opinion and in no way mean to take away from the need for evidence-based practice. Rather, this is the sharing of practical knowledge from a young and learning occupational therapist.
- Use enchanted objects: something new, novel, interesting, that juxtaposes with the day to day
- The reveal: make it dramatic, or nonchalantly set it out during another group to build anticipation.
- Incorporate enchanted objects during non group times to develop your identity as “that OT who has that really cool ___________!”
- Incorporate enchanted objects in the warm up to gain the interest and curiosity which will translate to attention and focus.