Occupational Therapy Explained!

I think we can all agree that defining occupational therapy is no easy task, and I’m sure we can all understand the almost gasp at the sound of the dreaded question of “What exactly is occupational therapy”. I know I have been there, many a time, and it always fills me with anxiety because it can be so difficult to explain. To be frank, it’s not an easy concept to explain, and even as a student occupational therapist, it took me a long while to really understand the role. It doesn’t help with the differences being so extreme from the physical settings to mental health to learning disabilities to vocational rehabilitation (to mention a few) that it can get confusing not only for health care professionals, but the wider public.

I started to think about how difficult explaining occupational therapy can actually be, what with the scope of practice, range of work settings and very common misconceptions (such as occupational health and vocational style therapy) which makes it not only inaccessible to other health care professionals, but also for newcomers to the profession, students, and most importantly, our clients, their carers and the wider public. So, whilst searching through some literature I happened to stumbled across a couple of interesting articles from two Nursing journals. Both articles explain in simple, and plain language just what occupational therapy is. They’re fantastic!

So here they are attached at the bottom of this blog post, I hope you find them useful (whoever you are reading this piece)!

Understanding the Role of OT 2009

OT Explained

Action Plan for me…

I aim to use these articles as handouts for my clients, and for anyone who wants to understand the role of occupational therapy a little more.


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