What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is a health care profession founded in mental health practice in 1917.  Occupational Therapists use hands-on, goal directed activities described as “occupations” to promote independence in daily life among individuals ages 0-100+ who live with or without a physical or mental illness. Occupational Therapists have always played a key role in the mental health and well-being of adolescents, children, and individuals of all ages.

Occupational Therapy settings include schools, hospitals, clinics, private practice, community settings, prisons and home settings. 

Occupational Therapy specialty areas include Mental Health, Physical Health, Lifestyle/Wellness, School-Based & Pediatrics Practice.

Occupations –At the Heart of Occupational Therapy

Within the profession of occupational therapy, “occupation” can be defined as those meaningful and purposeful activities that people engage in on a regular basis.  A child’s main occupation is play.  A teenager’s primary occupations are going to school, being a good friend, or becoming an entry-level worker the community.  A parent’s occupations include caregiving, working, and leisure.  Occupational Therapy facilitates an individual’s ability to develop the skills necessary to perform their daily occupations.

Evidence-Based Practice

Occupational science provides the foundation which informs and supports the everyday practice of occupational therapy.