What is Occupational Therapy?
When you hear the words ‘occupational therapy’ what’s the first thing that springs to mind? For many, the first question is “what is occupational therapy?” In this post I am going to be breaking down occupational therapy, explaining what it is, who benefits from it, and where it is carried out.
If you would like more information have a read of our occupational therapy page.
When you google ‘occupational therapy’ the first page to appear is the NHS website. The definition on this website states: ‘Occupational therapy aims to improve your ability to do everyday tasks if you’re having difficulties.’ My definition of occupational therapy would be assisting an individual to fulfil their full potential, using an assessment – intervention-based model.
As an occupational therapist you do not see one type of client. I work with people across the life span, who may have conditions that are mentally, physically, developmentally, socially or emotionally disabling. An occupational therapist will also help you to develop, recover, or maintain daily living and work skills. I see people with injuries and disabilities, I can also see people who have sustained catastrophic injuries. We work with people with or without a clinical diagnosis and with people from all various walks of life.
As occupational therapists are experts in ‘doing’, assessing doing, developing doing and increasing doing – we work collaboratively with the client and, when required, with other key stakeholders to identify problems and difficulties. We then assist them to develop and implement appropriate strategies and solutions to overcome the challenges that they are experiencing and help them to achieve sustainable success.
Have a read of our occupational therapy page for more information.
We help you to overcome barriers in your life
We work with people with or without a clinical diagnosis
We help you to develop, recover and maintain skills
We work with you to develop and implement appropriate strategies and solutions
Who benefits from occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy can benefit everyone! As I said earlier, we see clients from all walks of life. There doesn’t need to be a ‘diagnoses’ in order for a client to benefit from having occupational therapy. You could just be feeling slightly out of kilter, perhaps a little overwhelmed in your job? I see clients who simply want to increase their productivity at work, but don’t know how, or what to do to successfully achieve this. The strategies, adaptations and accommodations we make whilst working with you need to be and should be sustainable and transferable to all elements of your life.
Where does occupational therapy takes place?
Intervention takes place in locations which are appropriate to the client’s needs. For example, the occupational therapist could meet the client at school, college, work, home or a community setting. We as occupational therapists want to make sure intervention is always flexible around the client and their schedule. We work together to problem solve the identified barriers and potential problems which may arise. What makes us different is that we are not impairment focused, we do not follow a medical model, instead we use our expertise in functional ‘doing’ and remain outcome focused, which is paramount for the client to achieve their desired goals.
What is a successful outcome?
We as occupational therapists are facilitators of function …of ‘doing’… and for me it’s the sustainability of function that truly equates to success. However, success can and will only be maintained if the client recognises the triggers and warning signs of dysfunction and continues to apply the bespoke principles and strategies learnt during occupational therapy.