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Occupational Therapy in Cleveland Ohio, often abbreviated as "OT", incorporates meaningful and purposeful occupation to enable people
with limitations or impairments to participate in everyday life. Occupational therapists work with individuals, families, groups and
populations to facilitate health and well-being through engagement or re-engagement in occupation. Occupational therapists are becoming
increasingly involved in addressing the impact of social and environmental factors that contribute to exclusion and occupational
The World Federation of Occupational Therapists in Cleveland Ohio defines occupational therapy as a profession concerned with promoting
health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy in Cleveland Ohio is to enable people to participate
in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by enhancing the individual's ability to participate,
by modifying the environment, or by adapting the activity to better support participation.
Another way of thinking about the ideas contained in these definitions could be: occupational therapy is about understanding the
importance of an activity to an individual, being able to analyze the physical, mental and social components of the activity and then
adapting the activity, the environment and/or the person to enable them to resume the activity. Occupational therapists would ask,
"Why does this person have difficulties managing his or her daily activities (or occupations), and what can we adapt to make it
possible for him or her to manage better and how will this then impact his or her health and well-being?"
Occupational therapy gives people the "skills for the job of living" necessary for "living life to its fullest."
The College of Occupational Therapists (2004) describes OT as follows: Occupational Therapy in Cleveland Ohio enables people to achieve
health, well-being and life satisfaction through participation in occupation.
Occupational Therapy draws from the field of occupational science in Cleveland Ohio to provide an evidence base to practice and develop
academic and practice links to other related disciplines such as social science and anthropology, and also utilises a range of generic
models to guide the practice of OT.
The earliest evidence of using occupations as a therapeutic modality can be found in ancient times. One-hundred years before the birth
of Christ, Greek physician Asclepiades initiated humane treatment of patients with mental illness via the use of therapeutic baths,
massage, exercise, and music. Later, the Roman Celsus prescribed music, travel, conversation and exercise to his patients.
Unfortunately, by medieval times, the concept of humane treatment of people considered to be insane was rare, if not nonexistent.
In eighteenth century Europe, revolutionaries such as Philippe Pinel and Johann Christian Reil reformed the hospital system. Instead
of the use of metal chains and restraint, their institutions utilized rigorous work and leisure activities in the late 1700s. Although
it was thriving abroad, interest in the reform movement waxed and waned in the United States throughout the nineteeth century. At the
turn of the 20th century, as physicians became increasingly interested in chronic disease, enthusiasm for the reform of the mental
healthcare system was revived in the states. Occupational therapy found its way to America.
The healthcare profession of occupational therapy in Cleveland Ohio as we know it was conceived in the early 1910s. Focus was on
promoting health in "invalids." Early professionals merged highly valued ideals, such as having a strong work ethic and the importance
of crafting with one's own hands, with scientific and medical principles. Early adversaries viewed wood carving and crafting by ill
The emergence of occupational therapy in Cleveland Ohio challenged the views of mainstream scientific medicine. Instead of focusing on
purely physical etiologies, they argued that a complex combination of social, economic, and biological reasons cause dysfunction.
Principles and techniques were borrowed from many disciplines-including but not limited to nursing, psychiatry, rehabilitation,
self-help, orthopedics, and social work-to enrich the profession's scope. Between 1900 and 1930, the founders defined the realm of
practice and developed theories of practice. In a short 20-year span, they successfully convinced the public and medical world of
the value of occupational therapy and established standards for the profession.
A substantial lack of primary sources of information has left today's occupational therapists with many questions concerning the
founders of the field. Information is collected from early training institutions and hospitals, professional writings of practitioners,
World War I records from government agencies, newspaper articles, and personal testimonials.
One of the most notable figures in the infancy of occupational therapy was Eleanor Clark Slagle in Cleveland Ohio. Slagle was part of
the generation of women who challenged women's "rightful" place as a volunteer and strived for females to have a place in the
professional world. At age forty, she was trained in curative occupations and recreations at the Chicago School of Civics and
Philanthropy and later took a position at Hull House, where crafts were used to promote mental health.
Another psychiatrist, William Rush Dunton, Jr. in Cleveland Ohio, worked diligently to raise the status of psychiatry in medicine in
the first decades of the 20th century. He viewed occupational therapy as complementary to psychiatry, as it had the promise of meshing
humanitarian values with science. Dunton became interested in the work of European moral therapy advocates. He accepted a position at
the Sheppard Asylum, where it was standard practice in the early 1900s for patients to participate in activities such as bowling,
gymnastics, art, etc. Dunton and his contemporaries called for the development of a theory to underlie the treatment known as "moral
therapy" and "diversional occupation," among other names. He called for therapists to devise outcome measures so that the neophyte
profession would be given the attention and respect he felt it deserved.
The philosophy of occupational therapy has evolved over the history of the profession. The philosophy articulated by the founders that
have owed much to the ideals of romanticism , pragmatism and humanism which are collectively considered the fundamental ideologies of
the past century.
William Rush Dunton, the creator of the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy in Cleveland Ohio, now the American
Occupational Therapy Association, sought to promote the ideas that occupation is a basic human need, and that occupation was
therapeutic. From his statements, came some of the basic assumptions of occupational therapy.
These have been elaborated over time to form the values which underpin the Codes of Ethics issued by each national association. However,
the relevance of occupation to health and well-being remains the central theme. Influenced by criticism from medicine and the multitude
of physical disabilities resulting from World War II , occupational therapy in Cleveland Ohio adopted a more reductionistic philosophy
for a time. While this approach lead to developments in technical knowledge about occupational performance, clinicians became
increasingly disillusioned and re-considered these beliefs. As a result, client centeredness and occupation are re-emerging as
dominant themes in the profession, perhaps indicating growing maturity and self confidence. Over the past century, the underlying
philosophy of occupational therapy has evolved from being a diversion from illness, to treatment, to enablement through meaningful
occupation. This became evident through the development and widespread adoption of the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance.
Central to the philosophy of occupational therapy is the concept of occupational performance. In considering occupational performance
the therapist must consider the many factors which comprise overall performance. This concept is made more tangible using models such
as the person-environment-occupation model proposed by Law et al. This approach highlights the importance of satisfactions in one's
occupations, broadening the aim of occupational therapy beyond the mere completion of tasks to the holistic achievement of personal
In recent times occupational therapists have challenged themselves to think more broadly about the potential scope of the profession in
Cleveland Ohio, and expanded it to include working with groups experiencing occupational deprivation which stems from sources other
than disability. Examples of new and emerging practice areas would include therapists working with refugees, and with people
The role of Occupational Therapy allows OT's to work in many different settings in Cleveland Ohio, work with many different populations
and acquire many different specialties. This broad spectrum of practice lends itself to difficulty categorizing the areas of practice
that exist, especially because each country, each with a different healthcare system. In this section, the categorization from the
American Occupational Therapy Association is used. However there are other ways to categorize areas of practice in OT, such as physical,
mental, and community practice (AOTA, 2009). These divisions occur when the setting is defined by the population it serves for example
acute physical or mental health settings (e.g.: hospitals), sub-acute settings (e.g.: aged care facilities), outpatient clinics and
A key challenge for occupational therapy is to develop and maintain a definition of its nature and scope. Cara and MacRae (2002) in Cleveland
Ohio assert that whilst this presents a challenge, it also results in a unique flexibility which allows the discipline to move with the
flow of social, cultural and environmental change. This difficulty in definition may be a cause of chronic strain for practitioners
and may also contribute to a lack of role definition and subsequent blurring.