Finding Solutions with an Occupational Therapist

Thank you for joining us for this week’s blog. The past few weeks, we focused on some strategies that would help you during this time of a pandemic: hope, gratitude, and how to stay mentally healthy during isolation. We hope that you are now finding your “new normal” and are settling into a routine. As always, please reach out to us if you are still struggling with your current situation. Remember, as with all things in life – this will take time to adjust.

We thought for this week we would switch gears and focus on a service that we are now offering to our clients: Occupational Therapy.

What is an Occupational Therapist (OT)?

When we look at the words: “Occupational” and “Therapist”, your first thought might be, “a therapist for my job”? Which in part is actually true, however, the job we’re referring to is actually life! This particular kind of therapist specializes in helping you achieve the things in life that you need or want to do, but in a way that will fit specifically for you. An OT will look at you as a person, as well as your environment, to determine the barriers keeping you from accomplishing what you need or want. They find solutions, create adaptations or change the approach of the task. OT’s typically look at the family system and find ways for each member to support one another, as well as build an understanding of the solutions that are created.

Why did we add Occupational Therapy to our team?

Having an OT on our team gives us more opportunity to support our clients in different ways. They offer a hands-on approach, as they can be physically in the environment with the client and provide support in the moment. As a team, we value a multidisciplinary approach, including working with family physicians, psychiatrists and other specialists to make sure our clients have as much support as possible. Offering occupational therapy enables us to provide you with a whole-person perspective to becoming the best version of yourself.

How is an OT different from a counsellor or psychologist?

A psychologist, or counsellor, typically focuses on mental health concerns first, and offers support to the individual through conversations and an established relationship. An OT will typically look first at the physical concerns, followed by mental health issues, and then find ways to support both simultaneously. Support from a psychologist tends to be retroactive. In contrast, the OT can work with the individual in the moment, again with a focus on physical activity concerns.
Here are some examples of the physical issues that an OT can typically support:

  • Hygiene
  • Daily routine
  • Explosive emotions
  • Sensory issues
  • Equipment struggles

While this is not a complete list, it certainly captures a small portion of how an OT can help. OTs and psychologists work well together considering the focus of each profession complements one another nicely, and provides a holistic approach

How can an OT help my family or me during this time of isolation?

By now, you have likely seen some hiccups in daily routines either for yourself or your children. Does this mean that it should always be running smooth or without hiccups? Absolutely not, however, there might be opportunities to solve some of the repetitive hiccups. An OT could help by looking at what is happening during the day or routine and assess for appropriate adaptations.

Even through video sessions, the OT can be right in the room with you and your family, and create solutions in this stressful time. This can be helpful as we adjust to being in close quarters with our loved ones for much longer durations than we are used to.

If you or someone you know/love could benefit from the support of an OT, we encourage you to reach out to our team. At Simply Counselling, we work collaboratively to make sure you have the right support. We will find the right fit for your needs, whether that begins with an OT, counsellor, or another specialist.

If you are interested in counselling or receiving further information on occupational therapy, please contact us, we would be happy to speak with you.