What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement

WFOT 2012

Reflections on Occupation
Occupation is simple and intuitive to the experience of all humans. . .

  • the things we do in our life roles
  • the things we do to be who we are
  • the things we do to create life and world into all it can become

. . . however the finer details reveal there is more to occupation than meets the eye!

Occupation is. . .

Subjectively experienced

  • to one person the occupation of "shopping" feels like "a real chore", to another it's "fun", to yet another it's "a chance to relax". Activity can be classified into cultural categories such as "work", but each occupation is experienced as blend of productivity, pleasure and restoration

Situated in time

  • the meaning and function of occupation vary according to its location in the stream of time. Consider the meanings of a "shopping" occupation for an individual over time - shopping for lollies as a kid, shopping after a first pay check and shopping with a wheel chair for the first time

Universal

  • Time and culture influence which occupations are meaningful and adaptive, however that humans have used occupation to survive, thrive, healing and health promotion is evident since the dawn of time