Occupational Therapy Essay

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OT Definitions & Distinct Value
Everybody everywhere always has a different definition of occupational therapy. I decided to use the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) for a formal definition of occupational therapy. AOTA says, “The practice of occupational therapy means the therapeutic use of everyday life occupations with persons, groups, or populations (clients) to support occupational performance and participation” and NBCOT says occupational therapy is “helping people participate in the meaningful activities they need and want to do after an injury, disability, or other health condition. It uses a holistic approach to look not only at why a client’s participation …show more content…

Interviewee 1 (personal communication, February 1st, 2023) stated that they thought occupational therapy was “teaching people how to reuse extremities on their body after getting hurt.” Interviewee two (personal communication, February 1st, 2023) stated something very similar which was “when you help people relearn to walk, shower, and eat after an accident.” After asking both what they thought occupational therapy was I gave them my definition of occupational therapy which is “increasing one’s independence and health through participating in occupations that are meaningful and purposeful to them.” They were both very surprised that occupational therapy is nothing like physical therapy and that it had a completely different meaning. I also had to explain the difference between occupations and activities to them and how occupations are activities that are meaningful to that one specific person. I also explained how doing these occupations promotes health and wellness in one and that we need all different kinds of occupations to feel fulfilled and have a balanced life. Overall, both interviewees’ definitions of occupational therapy were very similar and almost identical and did not differ much from each other making it hard to contrast …show more content…

Holistic healing focuses on healing the mind, body, and spirit as one rather than what physical therapists do. Physical therapists focus on the injured part of someone’s body and only want to heal that. The therapeutic use of self is using one’s own emotions and empathy to connect with clients and help them, rather than just giving them exercises and telling them to do something. Occupational therapists deeply care about their client's overall well-being and health. Occupational therapists want to find what is meaningful to a client and use that to help them have more participation and happiness in life, rather than just fixing an injury they have. Occupational therapists have nine occupations that clients do in their everyday lives that give them a sense of meaning, purpose, and organized daily living. These nine occupations are work, social participation, ADLs, IADLs, sleep + rest, leisure, health management, play, and education. By doing these nine occupations, focusing on a holistic approach, and the occupational therapist using their therapeutic use of self these clients are often overall healthier, happier, and have a sense of meaning in their life instead of just getting an injury

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