Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Do you know what Occupational Therapy is?

The title Occupational Therapy is a play on words. Someone who is an occupational therapist uses occupations as a means of therapy to enable a person to function to their optimum in all aspects of their daily life. We used to divide the activities of a persons life into four main areas: 

-     personal care

-          work / school

-          social interaction 

-          leisure or recreation. 

This has been revised in recent years. Stay tuned for a post that will provide an update of the domains an OT works with.

An Occupational Therapist works with a person to help them with each of these four areas. This might include training new skills, adapting how the person carries out a task, adapting equipment or the position of equipment and organizing or re-organizing the environment.

When selecting the appropriate task / activity or occupation to use as the means of therapeutic intervention, an occupational therapist will make sure that the activity is meaningful to the person and that there is active participation. 

From the outline listed thus far, I hope it begins to show some of the work carried out by an occupational therapist. The truth is that the profession is both very exciting and very broad. It is in fact an holistic profession and was the first complementary or allied health professions to be recognized to include spirituality as part of the core of the profession.  The following two ideas from two models of the profession demonstrate how this is: 

-          One of the models of the profession identifies that by actively engaging a person in an occupation, a process takes place that we term: Doing – Being – Becoming. (Prof Ann Wilcock)

-          The Model of Human Occupation states, in part, that a person can not be healthy in the Absence of Meaningful Occupation. (Prof Gary Keilhofner)
Just from this, we get a glimpse of the possibilities and the importance of occupational therapy. So who do we work with? The truth is occupational therapists work with anyone from premature babies to the elderly and dying patient. We work with psychological, emotional, physical and sociological difficulties. The profession covers prevention, promotion and rehabilitation of health and well being of anyone wanting to improve their level or quality of living.

If you have any other questions, please post a comment or send an email.

If you live in Israel and require an Occupational Therapy Evaluation or Consulation, do be in touch or visit my website.

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