What Occupational Therapists Do

If you have trouble participating in day-to-day activities due to an injury, illness, or disability, or due to the social, institutional, or physical environment, you might benefit from occupational therapy.

Occupational therapists help people improve, maintain, or restore their ability to perform everyday tasks, including:

  • Self-care
  • Leisure
  • Education
  • Home management
  • Volunteering
  • Work
  • And much more

For a quick overview of how occupational therapy can help, watch this award- winning video produced by the 2013 UBC Master of Occupational Therapy Students:

Video: UBC Masters of Occupational Therapy gOT Spirit 2012 (3:04)

What to Expect in Occupational Therapy

When you see an occupational therapist, they will assess and evaluate your “occupational performance”. This means your ability to choose, organize, and perform (effectively and safely) everyday activities.

After this assessment, you and your occupational therapist will develop a plan to improve, maintain, or restore your occupational performance and your health. This plan might include:

  • Training, education and counselling
  • Obtaining aids and specialized equipment (such as a wheelchair)
  • Evaluating and modifying the home, school or work environments

Some occupational therapy services may require a fee. If in doubt, ask your occupational therapist what is included, or not, in the services you are to receive.

Where Occupational Therapists Work

Occupational therapists provide services anywhere their clients live, play, or work.

In B.C., occupational therapists can be found working in both the public and private sectors, including in hospitals, schools, residential care facilities, community care, child development centres, mental health facilities, clinics, employment and training centres, and private clinics or offices.