What is occupational therapy? 

Information and public awareness

Quotes, frequently asked questions and videos about the healthcare discipline and profession of occupational therapy (OT).

"Occupational therapy - where science, creativity and compassion collide"

Jessica Kensky (2016 AOTA Welcome Ceremony)

"Occupational therapy training provides the occupational therapist with the skills to plan and deliver purposeful, meaningful activity. Occupational therapists believe that doing things that you enjoy has a positive impact on your health and well-being. Our occupations, or activities, provided us with a role, routine and structure. They define who we are, fill our time and prevent us from boredom"

Alice McGarvie - Occupational Therapist, From the Harp

"We see humans as having an inherent need to act – to do things.  We can break down these actions (or occupations) into what we want to do, what we need to do and the skills we need to be able to do them. While there will always be some overlap, an example might be that I want to play the guitar and I need to be able to go to the toilet. There are also a range of (physical, cognitive, emotional…) skills that I need, to be able to manage both of these occupations. A big factor that impacts on my ability to do these things is the environment around me. If my social environment doesn’t like the sound of bad guitar players, my progress will be hampered. The environment will hinder my functioning. If my toilet is upstairs and I can’t use my legs then again, the environment is not helping me to do what I need. 

OTs help people to identify the things they want and need to do in their lives, identify areas where skills development is needed and assess how the environment helps or hinders people in achieving their goals."

Keir Harding - Occupational Therapist, mental health and BPD

"Occupational therapy. Arguably the most empowering, creative, holistic and meaning-enhancing healthcare profession. We are proud to put on that uniform, follow models of practice, client-centred outcome measures and prioritise active engagement in self-care, productivity and leisure. We are occupational therapists. Adding life to days."

Jamie Grant - Occupational Therapist; Director, The Occupational Therapy Hub

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This timelapse was created by Hannah Spencer (@hspenceruk), 1st year MSc (Pre-Reg) Occupational Therapy student at University of Derby, June 2019. 


Whilst on placement in a Learning Disabilities/Mental Health setting, Hannah produced a selection of easy read laminates about Occupational Therapy and the OT Process using Widget InPrint software. The resources produced evidenced own understanding of Occupational Therapy, the OT Process and the PEO model, presented in a way that also demonstrated consideration of patients'/service users' needs. Though the laminates were intended for a physical display in the setting, Hannah also used them to create this timelapse video for electronic longevity.

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Information and recommendations on The Occupational Therapy Hub are shared by our global community. Whilst we review all pages, we cannot guarantee quality or accuracy of information provided. Content within the platform does not constitute medical advice.