What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy, often referred to as OT, is a health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. Here’s more information on how occupational therapists work with, and support, individuals.

What does ‘occupation’ mean?

‘Occupation’ could refer to anything from getting out of bed in the morning through to getting together with friends.

As an occupational therapist, we support people who find some areas of life difficult. That means talking to them to understand their needs, seeing the challenges through their eyes, and helping them find ways to overcome those challenges.

What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapy is a career centred on people.

As occupational therapists, we help people recovering from an illness or accident to get back on their feet, we help children to develop the skills and confidence they need to get on in life and empower older people to be more independent.

We look at how different health conditions, environmental factors, activities and life events can impact upon people’s sense of self, their relationships and their careers.

Who do occupational therapists help?

We can support anyone from babies (even before they’re born) through to working-age adults and older members of the community. We also support people with physical and learning disabilities, as well as mental health issues.

Occupational therapists help children and young people to grow, learn, have fun, socialise and play so they can develop, thrive and reach their full potential. This could be supporting them to become more self-sufficient when it comes to things like eating, dressing, helping around the home, managing emotions and engaging in school life.