What is Occupational Therapy?

Better Rehab OT Abby explains what Occupational Therapy is, and how it can benefit you!

People often ask us at Better Rehab, “What is Occupational Therapy?”

So our OT Abby put together this simple explanation of what it is and how it can benefit you, your loved ones, or your client:

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is the use of assessment, goal setting and intervention to develop or maintain an individual’s engagement with meaningful activities completed by Occupational Therapists.

It is the practice of treatment for people with injuries, illness and disabilities through therapeutic use of everyday occupations and activities (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019).

Occupational Therapists assist individuals to maintain skills needed for daily living and increase an individual’s independence and quality of life.

How can Occupational Therapy help me?

Our Occupational Therapists at Better Rehab work with people of all ages with all injuries, illnesses or disabilities that impede physical and cognitive capabilities (PT Solutions, 2020).

OT’s can assist children with various needs to improve their cognition, physical function, sensory and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment (Harron, 2014).

OT’s can assist adolescents, adults and the elderly to develop, maintain or improve life skills, engagement in meaningful activities and increase safety and independence within the community or at home.

What are the benefits of Occupational Therapy?

OT’s assist with introducing, maintaining and improving daily skills to help individuals achieve their maximum independence at home, school or the community and increase quality of life.

OT can help you to identify goals to increase engagement in daily activities and social participation and provide intervention to help you achieve these goals.

OT can assist with returning a sense of purpose to individuals’ life with disabilities, mental health conditions and following an injury.

What conditions do Occupational Therapists treat?

Occupational Therapist’s treat a large variety of conditions and injuries (Henson Family Hospital, 2019). Some examples include:

• Amputees

• Stroke or heart attack

• Neurological disabilities: Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Huntington’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury

• Mental Health conditions

• Spinal cord injuries

• Severe burns

• Intellectual disabilities

• Autism

• Upper limb injuries

Interventions provided by Occupational Therapists:

There are many interventions which can be provided by OT’s (OT Seeker, 2020). Some examples include:

• Assistive technology and adaptive equipment

• Interventions to improve or enable self-care such as showering, dressing, toileting and eating and instrumental activities such as cleaning, meal preparation and laundry

• Behavioural interventions to modify and manage behaviour

• Education for clients, carers and families

• Cognitive interventions to improve or optimise cognitive skills including memory, orientation, attention, reasoning and problem solving

• Community living skills to improve skills such as shopping, banking, budgeting, public transport use or driving

• Exercise and strength training

• Health promotion and risk assessment

• Home modification

• Leisure intervention designed to improve performance and participation in hobbies and recreational activities

• Play used to develop play skills in children

• Psychosocial interventions such as cognitive-behavioural therapy, social skills, relaxation training and anger management

• Sensation interventions such as sensory retraining, desensitization and sensory integrative therapy

• Skills acquisition to assist people to develop new skills


If you are looking for an occupational therapist for yourself, your client or your family member, or if you have any questions at all, please reach out to our friendly team!


We offer a FREE, 15-minute consultation. To book yours:

Call us :: 1300 073 422

Email us :: admin@betterrehabiliation.com.au

Fill out our Contact form: https://betterrehab.com.au/contact-us



Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019). Occupational Therapists. Retrieved October 2020, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/mobile/occupational-therapists.htm

Henson Family Hospital (2019). Conditions we Treat. Retrieved October 2020, from https://www.mercyonenorthiowaaffiliates.org/hansenfamilyhospital/services/rehabilitation-services/occupational-therapy/conditions-we-treat

OT Seeker (2020). Intervention Category. Retrieved October 2020, from http://www.otseeker.com/Info/inthelp.aspx

PT Solutions (2020). Key Benefits of Occupational Therapy for Older Adults. Retrieved October 2020, from https://ptsolutions.com/key-benefits-ot-older-adults/

Wendy Harron (2014). Occupational Therapy. Retrieved October 2020, from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/occupational-therapy.html