What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is a health profession that is concerned with what people do. Occupational therapists enable individuals, groups, organizations and communities to choose, organize and perform occupations that they find useful or meaningful in their environment.

In this context, occupation is viewed broadly to include everything people do to “occupy” themselves in enjoying life, looking after themselves and others, and contributing to the social and economic productivity of their communities. Health is also viewed broadly as the ability and opportunity to live a full and meaningful life.

Occupational therapists work with people, individually or collectively, to enable them to be active agents in shaping their personal lives and communities. Experiential, participatory approaches are used with people to identify and prioritize goals in everyday occupations, and to analyze the physical, mental, spiritual, and environmental strengths and barriers for realizing those goals.

Collaborative planning is advocated to maximize choice in decision-making. To be accountable, occupational therapists involve people in evaluating both the processes and outcomes of occupational therapy. Occupational therapists emphasize team approaches in which lay people and professionals, individuals, families, teachers, employers, managers, communities, and organizations, share power by working as partners.

Interested in Becoming an OT?

Learn more about the colleges and universities across Canada that offer training programs for Occupational Therapy.

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