Occupational Therapists (OT) promote health and wellbeing by helping you develop skills that enable you to live a meaningful and satisfying life. The term “occupation” means any activities that you spend your time doing or any roles you take on. From work to school, engaging in relationships, eating meals, parenting, or exploring activities that provide joy and meaning, anything that a person does is an “occupation”. OTs can assess your affective, cognitive, and physical abilities and identify strengths and limitations that impact your daily living.
Occupational Therapists who practice psychotherapy actively meet specific training and supervision requirements to be able to work with clients to apply psychotherapy techniques when appropriate to support therapy goals. OTs believe that understanding what brings meaning to your life creates an important foundation for therapy, and provide you with skills, resources, and support to help you engage in your life in a way that is meaningful to you.
How do occupational therapists help?
Occupational therapy recognizes that everyday occupational engagement influences mental and physical health. Occupational therapists believe that occupational performance, organization, choice and satisfaction are determined by the relationship between persons and their environments. Occupational therapists approach mental health with this unique perspective that considers a person’s needs within context of family and community. This client centred philosophy is consistent with Canada’s mental health reforms.
At CCP we have seen first hand the value of having Occupational Therapists as part of our team. Rebekah (our OT) has been an asset to our clients and brings her experience working with other clinical practices to her work with us here.
What do occupational therapists do?
• Work with clients and their families to identify the occupations and activities that are important for family and personal life.
• Help to plan, initiate and track short and long term goals that enable participation in those activities.
• Teach practical ways to cope with the effects of mental illness e.g. relaxation techniques.
• Work with clients to better understand the impact of mental illness.
• Help replace unhealthy activities, such as substance abuse, with healthy, meaningful activities.
• Assess skills, interests, values, and strengths in order to help clients maintain, modify or find appropriate employment.
• Implement activities that teach valuable skills e.g. social skills training with a peer support group.
• Help structure lives and organize daily activities so that clients can balance everything they want, need or are expected to do.