What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy is a healthcare profession offering support to people with physical, psychological and social problems to enable them to live life to the fullest. Occupational therapists help people to do the everyday activities they want and need to do when faced with illness, injury, disability or challenging life circumstances or events. The key features of Occupational Therapy are:
- We focus primarily on the person's occupation. Occupational therapists use the term occupation to describe all the things we do to take care of ourselves and others; to socialise and have fun; to work and learn; and to participate and contribute to our community and society.
- Our occupations are the activities that fill up our days and that give meaning and a sense of purpose to our daily lives. Occupational therapists understand how important these everyday activities are to all of us and are experts in enabling you to live life to the fullest despite challenges or limitations.
- In the case of children the focus will be on enabling participation in childhood occupations such as play and school and supporting development and emerging independence skills.
- Occupational therapists understand how illness, injury, disability or challenging life circumstances and events can affect people's ability to do the everyday things that are important for them and know how to support them to reach their maximum level of independence and autonomy.
- Occupational Therapists are experts at assessing how different health conditions can affect people's abilities and helping them to overcome or work around the difficulties that are affecting their daily occupations and roles.
- Occupational Therapy focuses on people's strengths and therapy is always guided by the client's preferences (or those of their family in the case of children).
- Occupational Therapy is client-centred and helps people to live their lives in a way that is meaningful and satisfying for them by tailoring a programme that responds to their unique identity, situation and needs.
How can Occupational Therapy help you?
- By helping you to do the everyday activities that are important in your life including self-care, leisure/hobbies/play, work/education, social participation, and sleep/rest
- By using creative problem-solving to help you live a fuller, more satisfying life despite illness, injury, disability or challenging life circumstances or events
- By maximising your skills and independence so you can participate fully in your life roles (child, parent, student, friend, worker, volunteer, etc)
- By taking a client-centred approach to make sure your preferences, goals and priorities are the focus of Occupational Therapy
- By advocating for your human rights and access to services
The video below shows the distinct value of Occupational Therapy with people of different ages and different health issues.