Today I was attending a study day for yet another model of Occupational Therapy. I won’t say which one, it’s not really relevant. It left me questioning the discussion of yet another model of practice.
As occupational therapists we have all the knowledge, skills and ability to work with difficult hard to engage people. Yet we continue to create models which we can barely articulate ourselves despite all being educated to degree level and then we have to try to explain it to clients and the MDT. Complex words that have no place in any ordinary conversation eg. self differentiation, volition etc that we then have to reinterpret because no one else knows what they mean.
What on earth are we doing?
Use your client centred skills, listen and observe, ask clients what they would like, what they hope would be different. Take time to really listen to what they want and need. Let them be the expert rather than give them yet another label to add to their arsenal.
Explore with them what is meaningful for them, not what happens to be in the cupboard. Break down the tasks, then break them down some more then analyse the activity and work out how to enable the person to change in the direction they have chosen without any option of failing.
Make it a safe space, ensure you engage fully with clients and create a therapeutic relationship. Check out the activity is meaningful, ask them what a difference it would make. Get them to rate theirselves. Believe them, they are an expert in who they are and their experiences
Before and after every group or activity you deliver get clients to rate where they are, and again after the groups or activity what change/difference they have noticed. Give your clients the opportunity to make suggestions for change. Enable autonomy, independence choice and control. This is occupational therapy!
Occupational therapists create change. Believe in your own skills and abilities.
So no I don’t believe we need another model of practice we already have have all we need to deliver the change our clients want and need.