Online from: 2010
Subject Area: Health and Social Care
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Article citation: Normal Johnson, (2011) "Mediation and Movement: Structured Therapeutic Activity Sessions", Social Care and Neurodisability, Vol. 2 Iss: 4, pp. -
£ 22.99 (Paperback)
This is a workbook which presents 14 chapters, each of which outlines a one hour session that can be used within a variety of settings with young people aged 11-19. The aim of the workbook is to give an introduction into meditation, movement and psychodrama, martial arts and therapeutic writing. The book strengths are its chapters on meditation, which offer substantive explanation of the discipline accompanied by practical exercises which enables the reader to gain optimum benefits from meditation. Relevant information on the history of meditation and the methodologies used at the end of the book gives an overall good account of the styles being promoted. The chapter on meditation offers a framework that can be used by those considering its use and pointers for additional information and further reading. Reading such a book on meditation would be useful for those who are experiencing neurological disorders as it allows the individual to focus on relaxation and positive thoughts. This book does not view meditation for use in only spiritual practices but offers a view about its potential importance in the treatment and prevention of many stress-related conditions. Thus, it has been shown to be of benefit to many people experiencing neurological problems such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, anxiety, hypertension as well as for people who suffering from fatigue and a lack of energy attributed to other conditions or reasons.
I thought that the structured “therapeutic” activities in this book were made very straightforward and so could accessible to those professionals who have no experience in mediation, martial arts and therapeutic writing. It would be more helpful, however, to connect the different chapters more easily and to provide more in-depth explanation for each activity and links to additional learning resources. Having these factors established would enhance the usability of the book as most of the exercises are repetitive with only slight variations. The variations could be better explained and it would be valuable to have a generalised position by the authors with regards to the age appropriateness of some of the exercise in order to assist those using the text further, in their planning of the different activities.
The therapeutic writing exercises are provided in the form of worksheets which are constructed well and easy to use. Participants are instructed to complete the worksheets and share their response with each other and their group. However, the book does not give sufficient explanation or support for those introducing these activities about why they are required to be completed, the different ways in which the worksheets can be used by the group and how to manage the possible sensitive emotions both positive and negative that participants may generate from the activity.
Overall, I found the book weak in its overall structure. For example, the review chapters do not follow through in a consistent way, or do not offer sufficient constructive criticism. At times the flow of activities appeared disjoined or out of context. For example, the review section after each chapter as a process is a difficult concept to grasp within this book as no objectives are set at the beginning of the chapter and therefore what is being “reviewed” conceptually, posed me with a problem.
In summary, this book gives a very good introduction and insight into mediation, as a topic, but was not able to offer the same level of detail, seamless connection, explanation and benefits to its other chapters on movement and psychodrama, martial arts and therapeutic writing.
MSc, RMN, RGN, Dip Forensic, Dip Management, Clinical Lead Nurse BEHMHT, London, UK and a Visiting Lecture Middlesex University, London, UK.