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Why do we consult a psychomotor therapist? – Health care access


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14,500 psychomotor therapists work in France. Discover the role of these medical auxiliaries who take into account the body, the psyche and the emotional of the person in hospital structures or in the private sector.

“The psychomotrician is part of the body of rehabilitators”, specifies Anne Vachez-Gatecel, psychomotrician, clinical psychologist and director of the Institute of training of psychomotricians (faculty of medicine Sorbonne University). Psychomotricity is a global psychocorporal approach which is interested in the motor, perceptual, psycho-affective, environmental and emotional aspects and their interactions. The work of the psychomotrician aims to improve disturbed psychomotor, psychic and mental functioning. “Psychomotor therapists intervene on medical prescription in several areas: prevention, education, care, and this at all ages of life, from babies to the elderly”, informs Anne Vachez-Gatecel.

Assessment and care plan

“We start by carrying out an assessment of the different psychomotor functions and then we propose from this psychomotor assessment a care project and intervention within a multidisciplinary team (psychologist, doctor, nurse, speech therapist, etc.), says Anne Vachez-Gatecel. The psychomotor therapist uses different tools that he chooses according to the areas of work and the person: play, relaxation, body expressiveness, visual arts, gestural and postural education, balance and coordination… The techniques used during the sessions adapt to each person and are based on the bodily approach in relation to development. “With young children, everything goes through play. For a teenager with eating disorders, we carry out body mediation work and, in palliative care, it is comfort care to accompany the end of life”, describes Anne Vachez-Gatecel.

psychomotor therapist

For which pathologies should a psychomotrician be consulted?

Psychomotor therapists can treat any type of pathology. “We may, for example, have to do support for the psychomotor development of a baby who suffered at birth, solicit the different psychomotor and communication functions of an autistic child, enhance cognitive and emotional abilities of a child suffering from attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD), working on body awareness in an elderly person who is falling”, quotes the specialist. Psychomotricity can also help children suffering from school phobia, many more numerous since the health crisis due to Covid-19, by restoring their confidence, and those who have learning difficulties or even teach adults to better manage their anxieties.
In France, half of psychomotricians work in medico-social establishments: medico-psycho-pedagogical centers (CMPP), accommodation establishments for dependent elderly people (Ehpad), medico-educational institutes (IME), etc. The others operate in hospitals (neonatology, paediatrics, psychiatry, neurology departments, etc.) and in private practice.

How are psychomotricity sessions supported?

Psychomotricity sessions are paid for at 100% for people with a diagnosed and proven disability (MDPH file – Departmental House of Disabled People). Otherwise, they are not reimbursed by health insurance. Some mutual funds partially cover psychomotricity sessions.

  • Anne-Sophie Glover-Bondeau (ANPM-France Mutuality)
  • Photo credit: © Shutterstock

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