Occupational Therapy

Occupational TherapyOccupational therapy interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching the skill, and educating the client/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the client. Occupational therapists often work closely with professionals in physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, social work, and the community. The earliest evidence of using occupations as a method of therapy can be found in ancient times. In c. 100 BCE, Greek physician Asclepiades initiated humane treatment of patients with mental illness using therapeutic baths, massage, exercise, and music. Later, the Roman Celsus prescribed music, travel, conversation and exercise to his patients. However by medieval times the use of these strategies with people considered to be insane was rare, if not nonexistent 18th-century Europe, revolutionaries such as Philippe Pinel and Johann Christian Reil reformed the hospital system. Instead of the use of metal chains and restraints, their institutions utilized rigorous work and leisure activities in the late 18th century. This was the era of Moral Treatment, developed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, where the roots of occupational therapy lie.[4] Although it was thriving abroad, interest in the reform movement waxed and waned in the United States throughout the 19th century. It re-emerged in the early decades of the 20th century as Occupational Therapy. The Arts and Crafts movement that flourished between 1860 and 1910 also impacted occupational therapy. In a recently industrialized society, the arts and crafts societies emerged against the monotony and lost autonomy of factory work .[4] Arts and crafts were utilized as a way of promoting learning through doing and provided an outlet for creative energy and a way of avoiding the boredom that was associated with long hospital stays, both for mental illness and for tuberculosis. Although only a small percentage of occupational therapists continue to work in the field of mental health, many universities place a strong emphasis on training students in psycho-social occupational therapy.

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