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How to build a treatment session for Occupational Therapy

Rethink OT Podcast

Transcript of Episode

Today’s topic is building a treatment session according to the OTPF. Hang in there with me guys, because we are going to move in this call!!

Anyone who knows me knows about my passion for the OT practice framework. Probably from my personal experience of being completely lost when asked to use my full scope of practice, the OTPF has become a guiding post for me in everything I do as a clinician. So what are the three points we are hitting today? 

  1. What does the OTPF say? 
  2. What does that information mean for you as a clinician? 
  3. What is the rule of thumb to follow during EVERY treatment session? 

#1 What does the OTPF say about a treatment session?

  • Relevant

 “The things that people do that occupy their time and attention; meaningful, purposeful activity; the personal activities that individuals choose or need to engage in and the ways in which each individual experiences them.” 

 Bottom line, be careful not to choose your occupation-based activities for your patient. I read several articles regarding occupation-based treatments and their lack of success due to client factors. Patients didn’t buy-in to them. They didn’t understand why it was more beneficial for them to practice an unsuccessful activity repeatedly and how that was in any way skilled. Because of that, they had poor outcomes and just got through occupation-based rehab so that they could do a more effective therapy…. Ouch.  Remember to ensure that your client understands the skill and relevance of the activity you are telling them to complete. It doesn’t matter what you feel the benefits are if they aren’t interested!! Sometimes occupation IS exercise!!! Remember that!! Meet your patient where they are at! 

  • Research – 

“During the intervention process, information from the evaluation is integrated with theory, practice models, frames of reference, and evidence.” aka  competence. Ensure that what you are doing aligns with actual foundation!

And then now that we know that information about occupation-based interventions. We know to tread-lightly in occupation-based treatments while still remaining true to our core when it says:

“You should use your knowledge of the transactional relationship among the person, his engagement in valuable occupations and his context to design occupational-based intervention plans …”  

  • Reflection

“Emotional regulation capacities can affect a client’s ability to effectively respond to the demands of occupation with a range of emotions. It is important to remember that many body functions underlie each performance skill.”

“Intervention is provided to assist clients in reaching a state of physical, mental AND social well-being; identifying and realizing aspirations; satisfying needs; and changing or coping with the environment. 

What does this mean? Include reflection! Occupational therapy is not strictly physical or strictly mental- but it has many elements and clearly demonstrates the importance of them a mind-body-spirit connection. The reflective process is how we maintain a collaborative approach. Feelings are important!

#2 What does that information mean for you as a clinician? 

In short, it means to keep your notes out. Keep researching. Be an active listener during every treatment. And take time to digest and modify your approach, if necessary, after every reflective statement offered by your patient. 

#3 What is the rule of thumb to follow during EVERY treatment session?

Remember the three Rs: 

Relevant, Research-driven, Refection 

Relevant – Is your treatment relevant to the client? 

Research – Is your treatment session based on some type of actual knowledge, theory, evidence, or model?

Reflection – Take time to allow your patient to reflect on what is working and what’s not working. 

As always, head to our website for a transcript of today’s call.