In many cases, many people use occupational therapy as a mechanism of treating, and maintaining the working skills of the people that are challenged. These people may be challenged physically, mentally, or it may be due to a developmental condition in them. As such, some special programme is required in order to cater for their well-being. Essentially, the occupational therapy is client-centered. As such, it entails ensuring that there is positive progress that is directed towards meeting the client’s goals. This is done so in order to ensure that the client or their family participates in the day-to-day activities. These activities, however, should be related or be meaningful to those of the client.
The occupational therapy has a rich history, since it has been employed for a long time. It can be traced to the ancient times in 100 BCE, in the Greek history. For instance, the Greek physician Asclepiades is renowned for initiating the humane treatment of his patients who were suffering from mental illnesses. Asclepiades achieved this using therapeutic baths, exercise and massage. This became very successful. After this success, Celsus from Rome prescribed music and exercise to his patients. This occupational therapy was very successful during these ancient times. However, it is important to note that the use of the occupational therapy as a strategy for people considered to be insane was very rare during the medieval times (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2008).
During the 18th century, Europe experienced revolutionaries such as Johan Christian Reil and Philippe Pinel. These two revolutionized the hospital system. As a result, there was a decrease in the use of chains as a restraint to the mentally challenged people. Instead, many people started appreciating the utilization of the leisure activities and the rigorous work as a strategy of containing them. Many people characterize this as the era of enlightenment, or the era of the moral treatment. It is in this era that the roots of occupational therapy, as many people would argue, lie. This is because of the several innovations that occurred that are related to the occupational therapy as an effective strategy. The United States is considered as the country of origin of the occupational therapy. This is despite the fact that the strategy was thriving in other areas abroad during this time. Of importance to note is the fact that the reform movement was initiated in the United States in the 19th century, and as such, it is considered as the country for its origin.
However, between the years 1860 and 1910, movements of arts and craft enhanced occupational therapy. The societies that engaged them in these two fields were often united against what they termed as the monotony. This is because they had lost the autonomy of the factory work. As a way of preventing and avoiding boredom, which in most cases was associated with long stays in hospitals, the arts and crafts were considered a way of enhancing learning. Of importance to note, is the fact that it provided a major outlet for creative energy that would otherwise go to waste were it not to be tapped.
The founding theory of the occupational therapy is based on the belief that it is essential to have a strong work ethic. As such, the importance of employing the crafting skills using one’s hands, together with some medical principles was highly encouraged. This was as a result of what was considered as the progressive era, which was conceived in the early months of the 1910s. Professionals that existed during this time valued work ethics. As such, in America, there arose The National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy. This was founded in the year 1917. As its result, there arose a profession by the name Occupational Therapy. Occupational therapy is concerned with the health profession (Association of Occupational Therapists, 2012).
Essentially, scientific medicine received a major challenge from the people that supported the occupational therapy. The advocates of the occupational therapy were against the idea of focusing on the physical etiologies. As such, they argued that the dysfunction is caused by a combination of many factors, including the economic, biological and social factors. This was unlike the pure physical etiologies as it was commonly considered during this time. All this was geared towards ensuring that they would convince the medical world that occupational therapy was essential. In a span of 20 years, however, they managed to convince everybody of the importance of occupational therapy. As such, it was essential to establish the profession’s standards.
It is important to note that occupational therapy is a process that must be well followed for its effects to be seen. It involves a procedure in which the therapist undertakes a series of actions systematically. However, different writers come up with different versions of the process. However, being a profession, there are some basic components that it entails. These may include the processes of intervention, evaluation and considering the outcomes. However, despite the fact that different writers come up with different versions of the process, the key element of the process is that the model is always geared towards identifying the strengths of both the therapist and the client and the available resources. After evaluating this, they can then develop an action plan and evaluate the possible outcomes (United States, 2009).
The occupational therapy has a big influence in the world today. This is regardless of the fact that some people are in a long-term care industry or the short term. Essentially, as many therapists would argue or advice people, occupational therapy is not a rehab as such.Knowledge on the occupational therapy, one is better positioned strategically to be considered an important tool in designing living spaces. As such, occupational therapy becomes something of a big influence in the modern times.
Many events influence the application of the occupational therapy in the modern times. For instance, training on health and disability-related issues is a must. As such, the operational therapy is in a better position to help administrators and policy makers to push for better environments for the ageing population. Occupational therapy, therefore, becomes very essential in the modern times since it influences the manner in which designs are made in order to accommodate the challenged people in the community. This goes hand in hand with the role of the occupational therapy in the community, that of ensuring that individuals get things they enjoy most out of life. The things that a person enjoys in life differ from one individual to another. As such, an individual is in a better position to enjoy life since occupational therapy is client-centered, and progress is geared towards meeting the goals of the client.
Like any other practice, occupational therapy is governed in a structured legal framework. In this framework, the ethical obligations of the occupational therapists are expressly defined. This makes it extremely essential for any person who wants to practice in occupational therapy to be aware of the legal framework guiding its practice. It is important to note the fact that the rules are made regardless of the client group or the practice area of the therapist. Importantly, these legislations have a major impact on the practice of the occupational therapy. The areas that the legislation impact on the economic, social, demographic and geographic factors. However, it is important to note that the legislations are universal as they apply to all people engaging in occupational therapy (Willard et al., 2009).
One key legislation that guides acts as a guide to the occupational therapy is the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1955. Essentially, this was as a response to the need for increased funding that was brought about by the courts recognizing that the handicapped children needed adequate education too. In this legislation, there are requirements that are laid down that the states must meet in order to qualify to receive federal funding.
Legislation is essential in the practice of occupational therapy since all the practitioners have to be in line with the set down rules and legislations. As such, it plays a major role in the manner in which occupational therapy is practiced. This means that anybody willing to offer the services of occupational therapy should have the required expertise.
American Occupational Therapy Association (2008). Occupational therapy practice: Domain & process. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.
Association of Occupational Therapists (2012). Occupational therapy. London: Association of Occupational Therapists.
United States (2009). Occupational therapy. Washington, DC: Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration.
Willard, H. S., Crepeau, E. B., Cohn, E. S., & Schell, B. A. (2009). Willard & Spackman's occupational therapy. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.