I will explain why - keep reading... #enduranceiskey
As promised, let me tell you a little about Occupational Therapy. One of my great passions in life. We honestly have such a broad scope of practice that it can be quite difficult to cover all the aspects that is our profession. What I will attempt to do in today’s post is to try and capture the heart behind our profession, to give you a greater sense of what exactly it is that we do.
If I’m honest with you, at the young age of 17 years old, I applied to study Occupational Therapy at the University of Pretoria with the preconceived idea that I was going to be working only with children in my future. I wasn’t wrong, but little did I know that paediatrics was but a fraction of Occupational Therapy as a whole.
An Occupational Therapist (OT) works with people from all ages (i.e. new born babies all the way up to the old and frail). We work with people who have different diagnosis. These can include anything from developmental delays, physical disabilities, mental illnesses, learning difficulties to geriatrics. We work with people who face certain hindrances in their everyday-life-occupations, which can include; grooming, bathing, dressing, socialising, recreation, working, playing, schooling, driving etc.
Now if something were to happen which might cause a person to completely lose independence or a portion of their independence in their daily occupations, an OT’s main focus is to enable them to become as independent as they possibly can within those occupations. Our focus shifts from the disability or inability of a person to the ability of a person.
I once read this quote that said:
“Occupational Therapy Practitioners ask ‘What matters to you?’ not ‘What is the matter with you?” – Ginny Stoffel
For me, this quote beautifully captures the heart of an Occupational Therapist. What is a life worth if not lived to its fullest right? I believe the heart of an Occupational Therapist is to enable, empower and embrace every person as we find them. To encourage them to live their best life, no matter the circumstances they might face.
So in easier terms, the occupational part of occupational therapy refers to the daily occupations as discussed above, but also to the fact that our method of treatment is based on making use of meaningful activities, in order to ensure that our clients live their unique best quality of life.
I hope that this has shed some light on the topic. However, since Brave Development will more so be focused on the treatment of paediatrics and adolescents I’ll be digging into that in future posts. See you soon.