Occupational therapy is just commonsense isn’t it?

NO NO No!!!

I don’t know how many times I have heard an occupational therapist or an occupational therapy student say “its just commonsense” when someone comments on something that has been suggested or recommended by the occupational therapist. After all doesn’t everyone know how to set goals, how to use a problem solving process or know that being well occupied contributes to self worth and self identity?

No !! If it was that easy everyone would just do it. Yes some but not all people do know about theses things but many struggle with how to bring them about . In the case of goal setting knowing how to not only set an achievable goal but to break it down to achievable steps to, work out how to remain focused on the goal, to learn how to plan for and scale any barriers that may be in the way and to celebrate the successes especially when one is coping with change, injury, disbility, illness or changed circumstance is difficult.

It’s definitely not just commonsense rather skilled artistry on the behalf of the therapist in getting alongside the person and making the difficult seem achievable.  Just as being well occupied, engaging in a range of satisfying occupations can require careful consideration of the environment, the person and the occupation/task or activity  by the therapist in order to bring it about successfully enabling the  person to experience meaningful engagement and the feelings of wellbeing that go with it.

The good bit (and sometimes the hard bit) is if we are good at what we do many don’t notice the intervention it just worked -they did it and slowly the skill of goal setting, problem solving, and the ability to bring about being well occupied moves from being facilitated by the occupational therapist  to being within the clients arsonal of skill to use as and when needed and so it begins to becomes the every day, and as that happens the illusion of commonsense develops.

I am not saying others can’t bring these things about however an occupational therapists ability to manipulate context rather than the person is a pretty unique skill.

The dictionary says commonsense is: “good sense and sound judgement in practical matters” so perhaps occupational therapy is commonsense – but perhaps commonsense isn’t all that common? Perhaps occupational therapists amongst other things are builders of commonsense?

Here ends my first rant and first blog for ages…

So visitors to this blog – Is occupational therapy just commonsense?


9 responses to “Occupational therapy is just commonsense isn’t it?

  1. Hi there
    I’m an OT student in south Brazil and i’m the president of our Academic Center and we are making one questionary to met the OT in other countries.
    This questionary will be published in our Blog(http://catoverbalize.blogspot.com/)and it will be put in the pin board of our university.
    Help us to met the OT!
    Thank you very much for answering,
    Cassiano Robert from Brasil

  2. Hi,

    I am student of Occupational Therapy University in Canada. As, I’m student of this education program I don’t think that it’s easy to learn for everyone, To complete this education you have some kind of skills in this fields which help you to complete your education

    Am I right ???


  3. occupationaltherapyotago

    I was driving to work and the radio station gave out this quote of the day, which made me think about this blog post:

    “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” Albert Einstein

    And I thought – I’m not sure I agree with that! However it did make me wonder what other quotes there are on commonsense. Here are a few I liked:

    “Common sense is genius in homespun. ”
    Alfred North Whitehead

    “Common sense is instinct, and enough of it is genius.”
    Josh Billings

    and because I work in education :

    “It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense”
    Robert Green Ingersoll

    and lastly
    “Common sense ain’t common.”
    Will Rodgers

    food for thought

  4. Hi, I’m Ian. An Occupational Therapist Registered in the Philippines (OTRP). OT in our country is just as full of misconceptions as in yours, if not worse. If you don’t mind, I would like to share this article to my friends who are still taking their degree in OT and still doubting whether they’re in the right course and probably to my most skeptical and misinformed clients, too. Thank you! 🙂

  5. occupationaltherapyotago

    Hi Ian
    I will look forward to seeing if any of your friends post a comment. I will be interested to see what they think.

  6. Pingback: How I stumbled into that profession called OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY and came to love it. « Oppositional Defiant.

  7. I am occupational therapist so i will suggest that occupational therapy is the good choice if you have a bent on behavior issues. An OT solves such issues and gives a direction to lives of many disabled and suffering people. As a practitioner i enjoyed for many years and will recommend it to get inner satisfaction from your job after helping needier and enjoy your life.

  8. this was a really interesting read. thank you for this post

  9. Great definition. I am in first semester. It is not common sense. I have great common sense. It is a skill and such a beautiful profession. I feel honored to be part of it and pray I suceed.

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