OT Australia has organised a workshop with Julie and Carolyn (Sensory Modulation Brisbane) and Michelle Taylor (Mudanca)


This workshop will outline the theory and provide practical strategies essential to integrate sensory approaches into OT service delivery. It will support the growth of skills and proficiency in developing a sensory lens, enabling OTs to apply the concepts and strategies to any number of occupational roles and functions, to promote functional gains and independence for consumers.

This workshop will outline the theory and provide practical strategies essential to integrate sensory approaches into OT mental health service delivery. It will support the growth of skills and proficiency in developing a sensory lens, enabling OTs to apply the concepts and strategies to any number of occupational roles and functions, to promote functional gains and independence for consumers.


The content of the workshop will include:

  • Brief contextual summary (definitions, theory, evidence base)

  • Introduction to the sensory system & sensory preferences

  • Introduction to the concept of a ‘sensory lens’

  • Application of a sensory approach in the areas of assessment, clinical interventions, and environment.

  • Embedding sensory approaches in mental health service delivery with practical examples, case studies and exercises to brainstorm strategies to implement in the workplace.

  • Building on sensory skill base - additional techniques/ training/ resources/ education options

The workshop will be conducted utilising a variety of formats including:

  • lecture style

  • breaking off into smaller groups to work on key material, pre-planned questions/ hypotheticals and case studies, with opportunity to feed back to larger group

  • individual goal planning to assist the application of concepts & techniques to the workplace.

  • opportunity to personally explore a variety of sensory tools and techniques.


To provide Occupational Therapists with an introduction to the use of sensory strategies in clinical service delivery. This will include contextual & theoretical underpinnings, as well as identification and discussion of practical application of sensory approaches.


OTs will develop an understanding of the background to and evidence base of sensory approaches, be knowledgeable about its value and benefit in clinical practice, understand the concept of a sensory lens, and be equipped with a number of practical strategies to employ in the delivery of sensory approaches in their work setting.

While having a focus on mental health, the concepts and techniques discussed in the workshop will have significant value and application to many other OT service delivery settings, including general adult, intellectual disability, adolescent, burns, pain and aged care.

How will this workshop enable participants to work occupationally with clients/patients?

Sensory Approaches are designed to support a person’s engagement in occupation by:

  1. Participating in an activity that is in itself a sensory based occupation. For example, going for a swim in the pool to calm down, baking bread to help manage feelings of anxiety, or going for a walk or pottering in the garden to regain focus.

  2. Using a sensory technique to help a person to enhance their occupational performance in an activity that is meaningful and important to them. For example, a person may be having difficulty grocery shopping because of the smells in the seafood aisle. An OT can use a Sensory Lens to work with the consumer to identify sensory strategies that would support the person to be able to complete the shopping independently. Sensory strategies may be incorporated into a person’s routines to help them with their studies, going to the dentist, socialising with peers, or even getting a good night’s sleep.

This workshop is suitable for:

All Occupational Therapists


Carolyn Fitzgibbon

Carolyn has over 20 years experience in Public, Private and Non-Government Organisations in Inpatient and Community Mental Health Settings. She has worked with adolescents, adults and older adults with mild, moderate and severe mental illness. Carolyn has had training and experience in Sensory Approaches, Mindfulness and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. She has developed resources for clients who have anxiety, autism, self-harm and/or who have had a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder or complex trauma. This has included checklists for self-soothing with vestibular and proprioceptive input and developing distress tolerance kits.

Carolyn is self-employed in Private Practice and uses her sensory lens to support clients to improve their anxiety, self-harm, sleep, eating issues, mental health and occupation. When recommending sensory resources for clients she likes to consider home-made items using recycled, household or natural materials.

Carolyn enjoys providing education and supervision for Occupational Therapists and is inspired by the work that OTs are doing. Carolyn had delivered presentations at International, National and State Conferences and The University of QLD.

Carolyn has co-authored a book with Julie O’Sullivan titled ‘Sensory Modulation Resource Manual’.

Julie O’Sullivan

Julie has over 20 years experience working in adult mental health, in clinical, education, management, supervision and service development roles. Julie delivers recovery oriented and sensory informed approaches to consumers with complex care needs. She has expertise in implementing sensory modulation in mental health, including the development of work guidelines and plans, writing and delivering education and training, and coordinating and supporting the delivery of key sensory initiatives.

Julie has presented papers and posters at national and international mental health conferences and symposiums and is published in international journals and conference proceedings. She is experienced in delivering information to a diverse range of audiences.

Julie is committed to the development of strong collaborative working relationships with health, welfare and non-government organisations. She has been actively involved in the formulation of a number of key partnerships with mental health and local community services, and for 8 years has served as a general board member for Footprints in Brisbane Inc, an inner city non-government agency providing support to marginalised and disadvantaged people in the local community.

Julie has co-authored a book with Carolyn Fitzgibbon titled ‘Sensory Modulation Resource Manual’

Michelle Taylor MA (Research) | BOccThy

Michelle has over 25 years experience working as an occupational therapist in the areas of mental health and substance use disorders. She has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom as a therapist, clinical educator, consultant and manager. Michelle is currently a clinical educator with Insight Centre for Alcohol and Drug Training. She also provides supervision, training and advice on the implementation of evidence based sensory approaches to organisations.

Michelle has led the introduction of sensory approaches in a range of capacities including, contributing to the development of the Clinical Capability Framework for sensory approaches for Queensland Health, contributing to the Learning Centre's e-learning package on sensory approaches and research on its effectiveness, and is currently leading its introduction in the alcohol and other drugs sector through training and research.

She has presented widely on sensory approaches at national and international conferences and lectures on this topic for the University of Queensland. Michelle has a particular interest in collaborating with clients and families to translate sensory approaches into practice, and has developed a range of resources including videos and the TREEE model.

Website: www.mudanca.com.au


Friday 7th June 2019

REGISTRATION FROM: 8.30am | WORKSHOP FROM 9.00am to 5.00pm


Friday 24th May 2019


OTA Member: $375.00

OTA Student & New Graduate Member: $338.00

Non Member: $535.00

Members must be logged in with username and password in order to register at the member rate.


Mantra on Queen, 570 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided.

*If you have specific dietary requirements that are not listed in the options upon registering, please contact the OTA representative ASAP using the contact details below.


Our workshop materials are now provided to you electronically via an online platform, Course Genius. Approximately one week prior to the commencement of the workshop we will email instructions for you to follow to access these workshop resources.

If you do not receive this correspondence within the time frame stated above, please contact the OTA representative ASAP using the contact details below.

*To ensure you receive all correspondence we recommend registering for this workshop with a personal email address.


By attending this CPD event, members will be able to claim 8 hours towards their CPD requirements.


Mimi Rodriguez | cpdevents@otaus.com.au | 03 9415 2900

Registration and further information: