Occupational therapists only

This page is set up for topics relevant to occupational therapists – and an opportunity for me to rant on occasion on topics dear to my heart. An area in here will be password protected to enable therapists to comment and debate in relative privacy – there are some issues that occupational therapists, particularly in New Zealand, can and should debate vigourously and substantively. These include areas of practice that may be regulated by other professions (eg the use of cognitive behavioural therapy, psychometric assessments, exercise), as well as ethical issues (eg how do therapists determine boundaries if a client wants to attend the same social group in a small town?). If you want to access the topic area, please email me to obtain a password. The provisions for receiving a password are:

  1. You are a registered occupational therapist
  2. You will keep the information detailed in this area confidential at all times
  3. Your interest in participating in this forum is to debate honestly and with integrity, and not to personally attack or denigrate any individual
  4. You will be responsible for the content of your posts
  5. The posts will be moderated by me, and while I intend to wield a light touch, I may remove or edit posts that don’t adhere to the nature of the topic

email me>email.jpg

Please note: Occupational therapy in New Zealand is a registered health profession. The way the profession is practiced in New Zealand may differ from other parts of the world – and this is one reason I want to include this area. The differences in some areas of practice even in New Zealand are so great that it can feel like one therapist works completely differently from another. Role ‘boundaries’ blur and overlap more or less within interdisciplinary teams.

My ongoing questions are: how can I maintain my own professional and academic standards without (1) constraining my own (and others) practice, (2) without expanding ‘occupational therapy’ to the point where it loses efficacy (3) being over-zealous about the profession (the ‘I can do everything’ trap)?

This area will only work well if YOU contribute! Please make comments and argue with me – I really am only pondering out loud here, so I can be persuaded. So please, go ahead and MAKE MY DAY!

I’ve just used Google to look for an image reflecting occupational therapy, and I am depressed. Overwhelmingly the images are of women, hospital settings, gadgets, wheelchairs, splints – the first two images are cartoons reinforcing the stereotype of occupational therapists ‘keeping people busy while in hospital’. Shame! Here is my effort for an occupational therapy ‘slogan’ for 2008:


Oh, BTW, some of this image was snaffled from AOTA (apologies – contact me if you would like this amended)

Date last modified: October 2011

Why I can no longer think of myself as an occupational therapist – A bit of a discussion stimulated by Ann Wilcock’s article which is also available – reprinted with permission from NZAOT OTInsight magazine.


Science and occupational therapy

OTMeetingSpace discussion forum
Vocational rehabilitation in the UK

Rant Alert! Don’t call me an OT
Confidence to strut your stuff

Theory – what is the difference between occupational therapy theory and theories of motivation, goals, self regulation in psychology?

What is it that occupational therapists actually do?

occupational therapy research blog


  1. Please include me on this “OT’s only” page.
    Clare L
    Vancouver. Canada.

    Hi Clare
    I’ve edited your comment just in case you didn’t want your name and details made public on the internet. Lovely to see your visit!

  2. please include me on the OTs only page
    Christine K
    Barbados, West Indies

    Hi Christine, I’ve edited this in case you didn’t want your name and details made public on the internet. I’ve emailed you the details.

  3. Hello
    I am an Occupational Therapist working in Ontario Canada. I have been working for 11 years in the community and am now working with individuals with chronic and persistent physical and mental health issues as well as individuals who have been involved in motor vehicle accidents. I would enjoy joining your group.

    1. Hi Karin
      Thanks for replying and joining in the fun!
      I’ll email you the password direct, and invite you to take some time to look around and make some comments.
      Nice to hear from you!

  4. please put me on the mailing list for the OTs only page. I am an OT working in communtiy mental health and would love to share resources and join the group..



    1. You betcha! I hope you find some good things in here – and let me know if there is anything you’d like to find that you can’t (got to love that grammar!).

    2. Hi

      My name is Aoife and I am considering a career in OT. I have applied and got OT at the UWE in Bristol but I am unsure of going back to uni for 3 years! I am 27 so will be a mature student! I would love to hear from you especially as you are based at Bristol! Thanks, Aoife

  5. Hi! I’m a licensed Occupational Therapist all the way from the Philippines. May I also have access to your OT blog? Would love to exchange ideas with OTs around the globe… and learn our similarities as well as differences..

  6. I am an OT working in community mental health on vancouver island and would also like to join and share ideas and resources, thanks

  7. hi everybody,
    Iam an occupational therapist working in a low secure setting in Manchester England. I am doing my Msc in Advanced Occupational Therapy and would love to join your OT’s only pages and have contact with OT’s from around the world. Please include me!!! Sue x

  8. Hey!

    I am an occupational therapy graduate student who is graduating in December and I would be very interested in joining this blog if possible! Thanks!


  9. Hi Bronwyn

    I am an OT in the Hutt Valley Pain Management Service and would love to be able to join the OT only blog! I met you very briefly at the Pain Conference in Rotorua. I love what you are doing and am in amazement at how much reading you must do!! Cheers

    1. Hi Diane
      So good to hear from you! You have to realise that I don’t actually have a life, I just plug into the computer and work (work/life balance, what is it?!), besides what else do you do between midnight and 4.00am.
      Seriously, reading and sharing this stuff is so not work, it’s not exactly a hobby but it’s definitely a passion!
      I’ll send you the password shortly. There will also be a forum starting soon, once I work out how to set it up!

    1. Hi Jeris
      I’ve sent you an email separately – welcome to the blog, and thanks so much for the work you’re doing on yours! I’m impressed, great to see the cyberspace being the place where occupational therapy can be publicised to everyone!

  10. Bronnie, I’m so glad to finally focus on your site after enjoying several posts courtesy of Neuroscience & Pain Management for Manual Therapists. I am an OTR with mostly pediatric , sensory integration,adaptive equipment and some acute care adult & consultative low vision/geriatric experience. My Dad lived with chronic neurogenic pain for 15 years after removal of a kidney. I am particularly looking forward to reading your thoughts on OT!

    1. Hi Mahala
      Thanks for coming on to the site! It’s been amazing to see how many people wend their way to it, and all the different types of health professionals that have an interest in pain (and the various reasons for having that interest).
      Diane has done a fabulous job of promoting my blog, she’s indefatigable! I don’t often write specifically about occupational therapy, probably because I think of myself primarily as a therapist working in chronic pain management in a more generic way, but my main focus is on living well and applying skills and strategies in ‘the real world’, so I guess that’s ‘occupational therapy’ in its broadest form. Thanks for making contact and i hope to see you here again soon.

      1. Yes, I knew that from the title “Don’t Call Me an Ot” and would very much like to read that & the other password only posts. How do I gain access? FB pages & Diane seem to have spoiled my adaptablity to more complicated maneuvers.🙂
        Thanks, Mahala

  11. Please include me in being able to access this forum if it is still up and running. I am an Occupational Therapist working in Australia in aged care.

  12. HI Bronnie
    I would love to be included in your OT only discussion area. AS I think I have already told you in previous correspondence I am an OT in Adelaide who has been working in pain mangment for many years, and I would love to share ideas with other OT’s invovled or interested in this area.

  13. I am an OT in melbourne and would love to join this group. I have just recently begun working with patients with chronic pain and love the idea of a forum to share ideas/questions.


  14. Hi Bronnie,

    I’m an OT student in the UK due to graduate in June. I would love to have access to your OT specific ponderings if that would be ok please? I think the internet is the most amazing facility to share OT knowledge and practice across the world and broaden all our perspectives.

    Thank you,

  15. I am an OT from Amherst, NH, USA and my hubby sent me this link. I work with injured workers, many of whom experience persistent pain. I would be interested in accessing your blog/OT onlys section.

    Much thanks!
    Denise Finch

  16. Hi. I have just returned to working in a pain management service in Wellington after 3 years last working in Pain. So very keen to link into this occupational therapy section to ask questions and share learnings. My first thoughts on getting back into working in pain management is in defining my role in the team and being able to measure if my input is effective. This comes from having in the past worked only with ACC(Injury) patients and now working with ACC and Ministry of Health (illness) patients. With ACC you have set amounts of treatments specified though with MOH health patients you don’t have this within the contract so I am grappling with the parameters of my role and ensuring I provide effective input rather than keeping it open ended without clinical justifcation & then there is the issue of role overlap which is another issue!! Glad to be back in the world of pain management.

    1. Hi Chris – and welcome back to the world of MOH and ACC patients!
      I’d like to suggest that you think about using the word ‘contribution’ to the team rather than parameters of your role. This allows greater flexibility in terms of personal and professional interest, and acknowledges the overlap that is vital to interdisciplinary pain management. Too often defining roles can become an unwholesome competition for what “should” and “shouldn’t” be carried out by various clinicians!
      I don’t think you can go far wrong with defining your treatment time limits by following a comprehensive formulation and regular reviews as to whether progress is being made. In one case, two of our team have been seeing a woman for nearly 2 years – she is making continual progress, although her progress in achievement terms is very slow. While she’s still making objective gains I don’t see any reason to stop seeing her although we have reduced the frequency of our session to once every six weeks now.
      Thinking about role delineation, I wonder if you could facilitate (with your whole team) the idea of interdisciplinary case formulation – this way it might become much easier to decide who will do what for this particular patient and it also allows for each professional to support the work that others in the team are doing.
      BTW next year with the NZ Pain Society Conference in Wellington, I hope to include the Occupational Therapy SIG meeting we had developed for this year, but with some Wellington ring-ins, what do you think?!

  17. Hi, I’d like to join the OT only discussions. I’m an OT in Alberta, Canada and I work in 2 chronic pain clinics and community rehabilitation program.
    Bonnie Klassen

  18. Hi I’m an OT student graduating in 1 month and will hopefully be working in the area of mental health or physical rehab. Would it be possible to get the password for the OT only area? thankyou!

  19. Hello, I am an Occupational therapist just starting out in Home Health…I’ve been doing skilled/rehab therapy for the last five years…would love to poke around the site!

  20. Hi there
    I am an OT trained in Aust, currently working in the UK and would like to get the password for the OT area to get more ideas to help me in my practice.


  21. Hi! I’m a 4th year OT student from Philippines. I recently moved to Canada and I’m planning to go back to Philippines to finish my course but EVERYBODY here tells me it’s useless because they won’t credit my education/degree here in Canada. Now I’m having second thoughts. I don’t know how true this is. I know I lack the “registered OT” part in your requirements to join here but I’d really love to. It would be a great help.

  22. I am a second year grad student in occupational therapy and would love to be included. I am an older adult (53) and have a degree in psychology and much life experience. Thank you for considering me. Lisa Sullivan

  23. Hello Bronnie,

    I’m applying to OT grad programs here in the U.S. and would appreciate the opportunity to read the OT-specific section of your blog. I am specifically interested in chronic pain, and find your perspective particularly relevant and insightful.

    Thank you!

  24. Hello, I am a french OT student (in the third year). I’d like to do my memory on the subject “what can bring hypnosis in a occupationnal therapy session ?”. Does some one use hypnosis in his practice ? and would accept to give me informatiosn ?

    1. Hi there, yes some occupational therapists do use hypnosis, I am one of them! I use it to help people use their imagination and “play” with ideas and images of their body when we’re working on managing chronic pain, especially helping people visualise how they might move more freely. There are some good references available, but not in the occupational therapy journals. Most of the references are quite old but if you search using Medline or PsychInfo you’ll find some very good ones.

  25. Hello!

    I am currently practicing as a rural occupational therapist in Canada and would love to be included in the OT’s only section. I was guided to your page by another Canadian OT who spoke very highly of your blog! I am also interested in New Zealand practice as I am a New Zealand citizen and would like to continue my post graduate education there. Very excited to have found your page!

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