Thursday, 19 March 2009

Is Your Occupational Therapist Authentic?


Occupational Therapy (Abbreviated as OT) is a wonderful profession with all manner of techniques and methods to enable others to be independent and reach their goals. What some people don't realise, or if they do they ignore, is that Occupational Therapy is a RECOGNIZED Profession. Anyone who practises occupational therapy has to have completed a university degree in Occupational Therapy. In addition a qualified and practising occupational therapist does need to register with either a Medical and Dental Council or Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education or similar depending on the country. Every country has an association of Occupational Therapy and there is a World Federation of Occupational Therapy

The point being, it is a ligitimate and specific PROFESSION.

There are, unfortunately, many out there who state in their bio that they offer Occupational Therapy and yet do not have the credentials. There are, in today's time, many options on the internet for seeking advise with an expert. If you wish to seek advise in Occupational Therapy, do yourself a favour and check out if they are authentic.

Please note, although counselling is an integral part of Occupational Therapy, Counselling does not equal occupational therapy and someone qualified only as a counsellor can not claim to offer occupational therapy.

Although Occupational Therapy does cover how a person functions in the work place, a doctor dealing with Occupational Health is still a doctor and not an occupational therapist. The only time a doctor can call him/herself an occupational therapist is if s/he has a doctorate in Occupational Therapy, or is trained in both, with credentials for both and NOT if he is an MD who likes to advise about working conditions.

Occupational Therapists do use all manner of activities and occupations as a medium of treatment, this falls under the principles of the profession. However, someone who does Yoga or singing or art or any other activity with a person, CAN NOT say that equals Occupational Therapy, unless they have a degree in the profession. That means, if someone is a yoga teacher - as I have seen advertised on the net- s/he teaches yoga and is not offering occupational therapy no matter how much s/he likes to think s/he is.

If on the other hand an occupational therapist is trained also in teaching Yoga, this OT can combine both, but then they are qualified to do so.

Unfortunately, one can not even trust a sign on a door saying Occupational Therapist. You do need to check that whoever is claiming to be an Occupational Therapist is in fact authentically one. If they are, they will have a degree to show and have no problem in doing so.

Although the term sounds great and many dont realise that the term actually describes a specific profession, please be careful. Do check who you are working with or considering working with. If the person can not provide a recognized, authentic degree and registration with the appropriate bodies, chances are they are not qualified as an Occupational Therapist. Even if they have witnessed many OT sessions, observation does not make you into a professional. Training and taking the necessary evaluations and clinical placements and procedures does.

If you would like further information please feel free to contact Shoshanah Shear, qualified Occupational Therapist with 18 years experience in 4 different countries.

You can also contact organizations such as American Association for Occupational Therapy, World Federation of Occupational Therapy, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa or the OT Association in the country where you live. In addition, most major universities that have a Medical Faculty, will have a Department of Occupational Therapy.

You don't need to be fooled. There is information available from recognized sources. Contact them and find out what you need to know. When it comes to your health and wellbeing and working in succeeding in life, work with those who are authentic. If someone is posing as a therapist that they are not qualified to be, chances are their time with you will not be in an honest manner either.

Go for Authenticity. You deserve the best and will get it from those who are who or what they say they are.

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