Who Are Occupational Therapists?

Occupational therapy practitioners are either occupational therapists or occupational therapy assistants.

They are skilled health care professionals who use research and scientific evidence to ensure that their interventions are effective.

With strong knowledge of a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, cognitive, and social makeup, occupational therapy practitioners can evaluate how your condition (or risk for one) is affecting your ability to participate in life and provide ways to overcome any barriers, using a holistic perspective.

Occupational therapy practitioners are the only professionals who look at the relationships among the person, the environment, and the occupation to support health and well-being through everyday activities.

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations).

Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. 

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. 


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