Occupational Therapy and Literature

Middle Beach St Clair

Middle Beach St Clair

Today I went to a lunch time seminar the speaker was Rosemary who had been a lecturer at our school of occupational therapy until her retirement last year. She is now finding time to do a PHD.  It was a really interesting talk on using popular literature to gain an understanding of Occupational Therapy – an understanding of occupation and an understanding of the human condition.

Two things I have taken from or thought about since the talk:

Occupational therapists recognise in all occupations the technical skill e.g. in baking a cake (the techniques such as creaming butter and sugar together, measuring ingredients, using the stove etc). But  when you read a popular literature story (or even a children’s story)  that involves baking a cake the reader realises as occupational therapists do when working with clients  that there is much more to baking a cake than the technical skills. Why is baking a cake important to that person?, why do you decide to bake a cake?, what do they gain from baking it?, how does doing it impact or affect who we are? As we work with our clients/patients as occupational therapists we believe that all of these things are implicit to why people choose to  engage in certain occupations.

So the occupation of baking a cake and most occupations are complex they are not just about the technical skill but also tell us about the human condition.  As we work with our clients/patients as occupational therapists we know that many things contribute to why people choose to  engage in certain occupations.

The other piece of food for thought as an educator is that occupational therapy students and occupational therapists need to know as much as they can about occupations and the human condition. How do we get this knowledge when we only have our own experiences. Rosemary suggests that ‘good’ popular literature is a way to come to a greater understanding.

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One response to “Occupational Therapy and Literature

  1. Rashmi Bhatia

    Hello,

    I am a Masters of Occupational Therapy student and am undertaking a project exploring benefits and application of Yoga for post stroke clients. There is lot of research supporting the benefits of applying Yoga for various disabilities but there seems to be lack of literature on how to adapt Yoga for post stroke clients. I wish to evoke a discussion on how yoga is being adapted and applied with stroke clients and with what therapeutic gains.
    I invite your participation in the discussion about Yoga and stroke at my blogsite, http://strokeofyoga.blogspot.com/. What is likely to emerge out of this is a real-time, practice-based information on the topic. So, please come and share your experiences, ideas, and suggestions about the topic and join in an open & healthy discussion with other like-interest practitioners.
    Please share any information along the lines of what type of Yoga is used, how often, how is it adapted, which specific Yogic concepts are used, and how long it takes before the results are seen.
    I project to start summarizing the blog site activities by May 15th 2009.
    I sincerely appreciate your time and consideration. Your contribution is indispensable to the success of this undertaking and for future growth of knowledge in this area. Sincerely,
    Rashmi Bhatia, OTR/L

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