Monday, 30 November 2015

Private Occupational Therapists in Israel

I have posted about this before, and am excited to say it looks as though we finally have enough occupational therapists to get started. What is this about?

If you are an occupational therapist in Israel and are interested in working privately or have already begun to do so, please be in touch to join a network / support group for OT's in Israel working privately.

Please send me an email with your email address, area of O.T., whether you are licensed here and how often you would be interested in meeting. Meetings will take place virtually due to location of OT's. There is potential to meet in person too from time to time or as the need arises.

Stay tuned for information of our first meeting and / or feedback regarding the highlights.

If you are an occupational therapist, working privately is of interest to many and certainly has the potential to help you to be successful here in Israel. Come and join us and let us make this a very successful network group.

I look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Sunday, 29 November 2015

History of occupational therapy - with Video

I am often asked what occupational therapy is and how it began. The video below was prepared by two occupational therapy students.

It's rather well done. I like the use of voice and the sense of humour.

If you have read previous posts, Eleanor Clarke Slagle is mentioned in the video too. Do you notice any other names you recognize?

If you have questions, do post them in the comments below.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

New Angle on Defining Your Niche

I've been reading a few newsletters put out by Jena Casbon of the Independent Clinician on developing or progressing one's private practice. As with most small business newsletters she talks about developing one's niche and how to market yourself effectively.

Most talk about who your clients will be and how to focus on structuring one's material, services etc to suit the niche market. Something Jena mentioned has made a great impression and I've been mulling over it for a few weeks now. Jena shared that just as one needs to identify who you will be servicing and working on attracting that clientele, so too, you need to identify what kinds of clients are not your ideal and to filter these out.

This is wonderful advice and hence I decided to share it. There are millions and millions of people in the world and not all of them will be suitable as your clients. For a doctor who specializes in treating hand injuries (for example) problems with the ear are not going to be his area of interest and hence clients needing an ear, nose and throat specialist or an audiologist will not be his target clients. Now it could be that they stumble upon his website or flyer or other marketing material, but if they happen to call and find that doctor x treats a different condition, then doctor x will serve the person best by referring them on to the correct doctor or service provider. 

In the same way, if a given caller does not have the means to pay or the patience to listen to how you work or does not meet your criteria of your niche area, that's great. It's wonderful as you have then filtered out someone who you would not wish to be servicing anyway.

I love that piece of advice. Hope you benefit from it too.

Are you working for yourself or starting to work from home? What are your thoughts on this idea? Where are you in the path to work independently?

I look forward to hear from you the reader.

Have a blessed day or evening

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational therapist, healing facilitator
Certified Kallah teacher
Certified infant massage instructor
Artist and Author

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

8 Ways to Work from Home

Having a chronic illness can be very debilitating. When it leads to you having to work from home, this can be quite a scary situation to be in. Though there is an option of obtaining disability grant for many conditions, not all qualify. If you end up with a doctor and medical team who are not prepared to assist you with the process, what do you do?

On the other hand, is a disability grant really what you want to aim for? Keep in mind that receiving a disability grant is rather limiting. In the countries I have worked in, the laws surrounding disability grants usually mean that if you begin to earn or generate any income, your disability grant gets reduced or can prevent you from earning. 

So what are your options? This question is exactly one of the reasons that I began my series of posts on working from home and the benefits to someone with chronic health problems from working from home. An important fact to keep in mind is you do have options. With the progress taking place in the world, options have opened up.

What are some of the ways you can work from home?

1) You can sell items, either your own unwanted items or gather items from friends and neighbours. Further on in the series of posts we will take a look at other items you can sell and some ideas as to how to do so or where to obtain items to sell.

2) Blogging is fast becoming a very real option for earning an income.

3) Freelance writing has all kinds of options including: blogging as listed above, writing articles, writing content / copy for websites, writing eBooks, Ghost writing, writing for magazines and other publications.

4) If you have any kind of creative skill or talent, this can become a means of earning an income.

5) Virtual administrative work or assistance

6) Customer services as work from home

7) Remember options such as answering questionnaires or surveys. If you have low energy and difficulty thinking or doing much that is physically active, a real option is to answer surveys. Make sure to check the terms and conditions especially related to where you live. Many companies that offer this option are geared towards citizens or residents of America and Canada with UK and Europe as close seconds. 

8) You can teach or offer a service from your home too.

Do you have a chronic illness? Are you currently working from home or exploring how to do so? Do you have questions? Please do post them in the comments below. I'd be happy to answer them as best as I am able to. 

Have a blessed day and may you be granted both good health and a good, sturdy income.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational therapist, healing facilitator
Certified Kallah teacher
Certified infant massage instructor
Artist and Author


Monday, 23 November 2015

Occupational Therapy and Early Intervention

Occupational Therapy assists clients to function independently throughout the life cycle.

The Lyric video that follows offers a fun glimpse into the role of the OT in early intervention.

If you would like another look at early intervention, the next video is presented by an OT at a clinic in the US. She provides a little more insight into the role of OT with early intervention, i.e. babies and young children from 0-3 years

I hope the two video's provide some insight into occupational therapy with these ages. If you have any questions, please do post below. There is obviously more to our profession and I'd be happy to share more information or other videos to help you to understand the role of occupational therapy in general and in this case in early intervention in particular.

Have a very blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Friday, 20 November 2015

Book Review by Dr Emily Piven

 I was very grateful to receive the following review.

"This book has a carefully planned educational approach to development of consideration and kindness in children, as part of basic moral training, so important in society today.  Parents will want to buy this book to teach their children to value animals and other creatures. It seems most appropriate for children age 7-11, a time when children are learning inductive reasoning."
Dr. Emily Piven, Retired Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy University of Texas at El Paso, with 40+ years of experience in pediatric, geriatric, psychiatric rehabilitation, specializing in chronic disease.

"Tuvia Finds His Freedom" Written and Photographed by Eliyahu and Shoshanah Shear is available on,,, BookDepository, eStore of CreateSpace. It has been translated into Hebrew by Dana Baum for those who prefer Hebrew or would like to improve their reading and vocabulary in both English and Hebrew. Ask for it in your local book store, you might just find it there too. If not, you can show them this review and encourage them to sell the book.

These reviews have been shared by Shoshanah Shear
Co-author and Co-photographer of Tuvia Finds His Freedom

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Reflecting on Teaching a New Mother Infant Massage

I'm busy teaching a young mother how to massage her baby. It is so wonderful to observe and witness the transformation in the relationship between mom and baby through the wonderful gift of massaging her baby. When I asked her what she thought she gained by learning the different strokes, when and where to massage her baby etc, she said that the number one bonus has been gaining a tool to help her baby. To know there is something she can do to help him develop and thrive.

For some mothers and babies, the transformation is very much for the baby. The baby becomes more relaxed, at peace, interactive and has improved digestion and reduced gas or wind. For other mothers and their babies, the transformation is for the mother gaining a skill and growing into the role of being a mother. The most special though, is when the bond itself between mother and baby is strengthened. I sometimes wish I had my camera near by when the special smile comes over the mother's face as she notices that her baby enjoys a certain touch, stroke or part of the body being massaged and to know that she was able to provide her baby with that enjoyment. There is nothing quite like the bond between a mother and her baby.

Did you know, massaging your baby is not only a skill for mom, dad's can learn too and certainly should. 

Have you thought about massaging your baby? Would you like to learn how or to learn about the benefits of massaging your baby? Be in touch to book a session or the course or inquire about a talk on the topic of infant massage.

Have a blessed day

Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Infant Massage Instructor

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

8 Benefits of Working from Home

While so many advocate to go out to work, let us take a brief look at some of the benefits of working from home.

1) You can set your own hours.
If you suffer from a chronic illness, especially if it affects your energy, the ability to set your own hours can free you to manage your health more effectively. For those who find getting up early and being at an office by 8 am or earlier a challenge, being able to begin your day at your own pace is very empowering. 

2) You can pace yourself i.e. manage your time

Setting your own hours is not limited to what time you begin or end your day, but also how many breaks you have. When you take time to exercise, to eat, to run any errands that you need to etc. For those requiring energy conservation or for whom regular, small meals are a necessity in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, working from home can often provide the answer you require. Not all offices or places of work will permit you to take time to rest when you need to or to eat when you need to.

Of course, managing your own time is not only related to health problems. If you are a mother and have small children, very often by working from home you can spend more time with your children and be available to take them to school and collect them home again afterwards. You can also supervise their homework, meals or snack after school etc more easily if you know you can stop working either at the time they come home or to take a break and put in another hour or two once they go to bed.
3) You can determine where you work

If you are on bedrest due to your pregnancy or require work that is less active or enables you to lie down at times, you can have this flexibility when you work from home. Whether you need to lie down while doing some reading, to prop yourself up in bed or on your sofa or to make a work room from your home, you can have this freedom working from home. You can also have time working in your garden if you have one, in your kitchen or dining room. You have many options, including going to a park or coffee shop if you would like some variety.

4) You can determine your income

Although working from home does require that you are disciplined and work smartly, very often you can determine what kind of income you receive or if you receive an income. While benefits are good and needed, many jobs today are offering minimum wage or low income. Depending on where you live, there are also places that withhold your salary or might delay your earning until you have worked for them for a set amount of time. When you work from home, you can begin to set your financial goals and find opportunities to earn an income that will meet your needs.
5) It enables you to participate in society as a worker

Depending on your age and your health, there are times that working from home enables you to work. In some countries once you reach a certain age, earning in a salaried job can be difficult to impossible. Some conditions and responsibilities to take care of a relative with a health problem or disability can make working in an office or facility difficult or even impossible. For those who require regular rests, treatments, special diet etc, working from home can at times mean the difference between entering into the worker role, meaning that you can also engage in work activities and earn an income from this to being unemployed and dependent on unemployment / social security etc.

6) You can be your own boss

Depending on your career, skills and who you are, there are times that you can only be yourself and be as creative as you wish to be, by working from home. You will have the freedom to explore new possibilities, to develop and grow in whatever your set of interests and skills are and at the pace that is right for you.

7) You can create your own work

In the economic climate of the last few years, there have been many, many situations of places of work down scaling and retrenching. When your type of work no longer has the means to pay your salary, working from home can enable you to create your own work.

8) You can live where you want to

This point is very important for many reasons. So often we move to certain cities or parts of the world for the purpose of a job. How often have you heard of someone say "I moved there for work but I really do not like the place". If you are someone who loves nature, you can find somewhere that suits you in the country and develop the work that best suits you living where you enjoy. If you are a city person, you can by all means live in the city.
In future posts we will look at disadvantages of working from home and also options for working from home. In today's time, modern technology has opened up many options that were not there in years gone by.

Is working from home of interest to you? Have you begun to work from home or are you still investigating? Can you think of other benefits to working from home that are not listed above?

Please write a comment below. We'd love to hear your feedback.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist
Artist and Writer

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Occupational Therapy... More Than Just Work

My website used to be called "what occupational therapy is!" partly in the hope that readers or those visiting the website will come to understand about the profession and from there it could lead to clients. After some time I decided to alter the theme of the website and to take the need for promoting our profession to become a blog with ongoing posts on the profession of O.T. 

The title of occupational therapy, as mentioned in a previous post, explains much of what the profession is about. In recent posts, I have begun to share information about occupational therapy and the area of work in general and working from home in particular. In the video below, Dr Denise Robert share's some thoughts about occupations that are unrelated to work. Sorry if this confuses you. Watch her video and let me know your thoughts.

I hope that watching the video has answered some questions for you. Do you have a clearer idea of what occupational therapy is? Did you learn something you had not known before? Do you still have questions? Please post below if you have any questions or what your comments and insights are.

I look forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist

Friday, 13 November 2015

When Life Interrupts Societies Ideal Idea of Earning

Many think of a career path as being select your subjects well in high school, get good grades, go to university to obtain a degree, graduate in the allotted time, go out and find a job and stay in that job, working your way up to as high a position as you can. Earn nicely in your salaried job including obtaining pension and other benefits and then when you retire all is well. This is a nice fairy tale, but reality is not always like this. There are all kinds of events that can and do happen that interrupt the wonderful plan that society lays down.

What if someone is in an accident and can no longer continue the work that they had been employed to do prior to the accident? What if someone contracts an illness and during the tests to determine what the illness is, a medical error occurred and the person ends up in a wheelchair? What if the person's work goes in or decides to downsize or even to relocate? In these scenarios continuing work as one had prior to the injury, illness, being retrenched or having to decide whether to relocate as well or not will all interrupt and alter the perfect plan. 

How about someone who was studying well and moving towards the goal of a degree and then something happens to alter this. Could be an illness, injury or any of a host of other options. What if the person has to take a year off from their studies and this will result in losing their scholarship or bursary or both? What if the person was doing well in school and then a parent dies and the plan to go to university is affected due to lack of funds. Perhaps it causes a delay, perhaps it requires finding funding. Or the person themselves can become ill or be in an accident, G-d forbid but it happens. There are many events that occur in life that can and do affect the path that society regards as the ideal.

In many of these situations, an occupational therapist can assist in helping the person it could be  through physical rehabilitation to regain function and skills to be able to continue working. It could be work rehabilitation to help the person to improve their endurance and conditioning to work effectively and to regain their ability to function in the role of worker.  It could be assisting the person to make decisions which can include adaptations in the work place or education in the place of work, the manner in which the tasks at work were carried out or a complete change entirely.

Now we come back to our theme of work from home that I began a few weeks ago. Just as there are times that someone can no longer fit into the usual mould of societies ideal path to earn a livelihood, so too how one works has changed a lot due to the advances in technology and other factors. In today's time, working from home is a very real option for many. It can be a choice in order to take care of your kids or for some other lifestyle reason or it can be a choice to enable you to work effectively and to set working hours that suit your health. There are many reasons to work from home.

I hope this post has helped to give you a glimpse into various scenarios that can alter and affect a persons ability to fulfill the worker role and to continue to work effectively. This change to their life does not have to mean a total loss of the ability to earn. There are times that earning becomes impossible, e.g. a person in a coma for a length of time obviously can not function on a basic level let alone to work. The person who is bedridden? Well it would depend on the reason for being bed ridden. Sometimes yes that means one can not work and sometimes, the use and careful structuring of a program including assistive technology, assistive devices and more can enable even a bedridden person to work to a degree. In future posts, I hope to show types of equipment that can assist someone to engage in activities that enter into the work arena. I will be exploring many more ideas on the topic of working from home, including, but not only, addressing the attitude of many that someone who works from home is not working. This is not true. 

Stay tuned for more posts on the topic of work from a OT perspective and specifically working from home.

I hope you enjoyed the post

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Identifying your Weaknesses in order to Work from Home

Time for the next step in our stock take in preparation for working from home. We have already looked at our strengths, interests and who you would like to work with. Our next step is to write for yourself a list of the things that are holding you back, otherwise known as your weaknesses. This can be something physical such as low endurance, dizzy spells when sitting up or standing, difficulty breathing, need to eat or rest at certain intervals. It could be emotional or psychological. Difficulty concentrating, difficulty deciding what to do, low self-esteem, fear, lack of support. It could be lack of funds or lack of resources.

There are many factors that can be a stumbling block, a barrier or a challenge. There are no right or wrong answers, it is merely a case of knowing yourself well. If your reason to work from home is due to your health, there are some resources, assistive devices and options to assist. If the difficulty is lack of knowledge then identifying the area you have difficulty in will help you to develop a plan of what you need to learn in order to be successful. If your difficulty is lack of self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, fear etc, then being able to identify this will help you to find the best solution to enable you to be successful.

If your limitation is time, then write that down too. Be realistic. If you have a need to work from home and only have 1-2 hours that you can have available either to work online or to be involved in work, that information helps you to schedule your day.

The points above are not all the factors or areas of weakness. Spend a little time sitting quietly and thinking of what your situation is. What are your weaknesses?

When you have that information written down in your journal, on your computer, on your blog, wherever you are keeping your record then you will be ready to proceed to the next step.

I hope you have found this post beneficial. Do you have questions related to identifying your weaknesses? Do you have questions related to working from home? Do post your question below and I will do my best to answer either in the comments or a future blog post.

Have a very special day and enjoy your preparations towards working from home.

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Occupational Therapy vs Physical Therapy

A common question we are asked as occupational therapists is what is the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy? Many presume they are the same. Many understand physical therapy and have no idea about occupational therapy.

One of the best ways to highlight the differences is with a client or patient as an example. The video below outlines this with a physical therapist and occupational therapist who work with the same child, working towards similar goals in different ways.

I hope the video has helped you to understand some of the difference between these important professions as they relate to working with children. If you have any question, please post it in the comments below and I will be happy to respond.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapy, Healing Facilitator

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Step Three in Preparing to Work from Home

Whether you are already working at home, or you would like to work at home or have a need or desire to increase your income, the next step in our stock take is very important. If you have followed the posts on this theme, you should have a list of your skills and interests. There are a few more details that are crucial for you to identify in order to be successful in working from home. Your next task is to sit down and make a list of your expenses and your needs.

For step 3 in preparing your stock take, make a list of all your expenses, decide which are important and which are added extras. When you have your list for the week and the month, you can workout what you need to be earning.

If you have a regular job, is your salary meeting your financial need? If not, how much extra do you need to earn in order to live a meaningful life. 

Once you have prepared your list of monetary needs, you will be ready to move on to the next part of your stock take.

Have you read any of the other posts on the topic of working from home? Have you found them helpful? Do you still have questions? Please post a comment. Your answer will help me with planning the future posts.

Enjoy your journey towards successfully working from home.

Have a blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

Monday, 2 November 2015

How to Earn In Order to Create Your Dream Work

In previous posts, we have begun looking at what your skills and interests are in order to be successful working from home. We have a few more steps to go in our stock take, but before we proceed, here is an idea to help you earn what you need in order to succeed.

Having a goal to reach and no means to make it happen can be frustrating. It does not need to be. Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Moving Sales and Rummage sales have all become quite popular. You can begin by selling your own unwanted items. In a different post we can talk about how to sell online as well as how to gather more items to help you with your sale or sales.

For now, does the thought of making a sale seem daunting? It does not need to be. Even if you have a health issue, the great thing about having a sale from your home / yard is that you can decide the hours that work for you. If you can only manage two hours, then prepare your signs to be for two hours. You can pace yourself by resting before and after. Have fun with it, make your times, your prices, your schedule and prepare to earn what you need to move your life in the direction you need it to go.

Here is an excellent video to give you tips and steps to help you to get started. If you are planning a yard sale and have not done so before, do post a comment to let us know how you progressed.

I hope you found the video useful, while you get started considering what you are going to sell, where, when and all the nitty gritty details, we have a sale of our own to prepare.

Have a blessed day and stay tuned for the next step in being successful working from home

Shoshanah Shear

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Promoting Occupational Therapy

One of the hardest challenges about being an occupational therapist / O.T. is the extent to which the profession is unknown or mis-understood. One of the goals of this blog is to help the readers to gain a better understanding of occupational therapy. Here is a fun video to help to illustrate what occupational therapy is.

I hope it answers your questions. If you are left with doubts, questions or comments, do post your comment below.

Have a very blessed day

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author
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