What is Occupational Therapy anyway?

"Occupational Therapy: Enabling people to participate in meaningful occupation."

What is "occupation"?

What is occupational therapy?

What does an occupational therapist do?

How do occupational therapists help people?

Where do occupational therapists work?

 

What is "occupation"?

Occupation is “….everything that people do to occupy themselves, including looking after themselves (self care), enjoying life (leisure), and contributing to the social and economic fabric of their communities (productivity); the domain of concern and the therapeutic medium of occupation therapy” p. 369

Townsend, E.A., & Polatakjko, H. J. (2007). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being, & justice through occupation. Ottawa, Ontario: CAOT Publications ACE.

 

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is “ the art and science of enabling engagement in everyday living, through occupation; of enabling people to perform the occupations that foster health and well-being; and enabling a just and inclusive society so that all people may participate to their potential in the daily occupations of life” p. 372

Townsend, E.A., & Polatajko, H . J. (2007). Enabling occupation II: Advancing an occupational therapy vision for health, well-being, & justice through occupation. Ottawa, Ontario: CAOT Publications ACE.

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What does an occupational therapist do?

There is no such thing as a typical occupational therapy job - occupational therapists work in such a wide variety of areas. To see what one occuptaional therapist does click on the following health careers link.

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How do occupational therapists help people?

  • Help them learn new ways of doing things following illness or injury, for example dressing or cooking
  • Adapt material or equipment, for example recommend wheelchairs or provide special bath or toilet seats
  • Make changes to the living or working environment to help them undertake their usual occupations
  • Develop new skills, abilities or interests, for example job readiness programmes
  • Access ways to manage pain so people can still do things
  • Assist them to feel better about themselves and what they do
  • Develop their confidence in social situations

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Where do occupational therapists work?

  • Community centres/services
  • Charitable organizations and trusts
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health services
  • Nursing and rest homes
  • Private practice clinics
  • Rehabilitation under ACC
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Schools/educational providers
  • People's homes
  • Workplaces

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Occupational Therapists work with people of all ages