Being diagnosed with any psychological disorder significantly affects our mental health and our ability to function properly. We find it difficult to carry out daily activities usually because all our energy is centered on healing and getting better. The treatment of psychological disorders consists of two main components, reduction of symptoms and improving the level of functioning. In the case of milder disorders like depression, anxiety, or phobia, reduction in symptoms implies improvement in quality of life. Nonetheless, this may not be the case in disorders such as schizophrenia, intellectual disabilities, or substance-related disorders. Many patients suffer from negative symptoms that include a lack of interest and motivation. On the other hand, some might simply lose the ability to study or work and hold a stable income source. Such patients require rehabilitation after a considerable reduction in major symptoms. And occupational therapy is one constituent of it.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Rehabilitation aims at helping patients become self-sufficient. It empowers them to become productive members of society. Rehabilitation uses several tools to accomplish its goals like occupational therapy, vocational therapy, and social skills training to name a few. What this article focuses on is Occupational Therapy.
For a brief introduction to occupational therapy, you should know that it helps perform tasks at home, school, or the workplace. Opposite to what comes to your mind when you see ‘therapy’, it does not involve therapeutic measures otherwise used for treating mental disorders. The idea behind occupational therapy, and rehabilitation as a whole, is to enable patients to live better with disabilities and work their way through life efficiently. Hence, it works to help patients obtain and/or maintain employment. Occupational therapists teach patients skills such as candle making, paper bag making, and weaving to help them form a work discipline.
If somebody is recovering from any mental disorder, it is very important that they as well as their therapists understand the significance of rehabilitation. It plays a key role in discovering, developing, recovering, and maintaining meaningful activities after a long time is spent in coping with stress associated with mental disabilities and recovering from them.
How Occupational Therapy helps with better mental health
Before undertaking any task, we assess its importance and how it is going to be beneficial to us. In a similar pattern, you should know how engaging in occupational therapy is going to boost your mental health. On account of this, occupational therapists undertake exactly what is going to help achieve their aim. How they help in addressing your mental health includes, but is not limited to:
When one is coping with something as consuming as mental disability, one is often occupied with self-doubt, low confidence, and trust issues. Occupational therapists help clients identify their strengths. Being aware of your strengths lets you feel hopeful. It gives you something to look at and know you are capable of accomplishing things in life.
Discovering what the client values
Many clients find themselves questioning everything including their and the universe’s existence, many things lose their meaning and the importance they once held in the client’s eyes. Occupational therapists try to discover what their client values or used to value the most in their lives through active listening. They try to incorporate those in the treatment plan, thus gaining the client’s interest and willingness.
Work in various areas
A holistic rehabilitation program is what works wonders. Occupational Therapists or OTs as they are called, work with their clients in the areas of education, cognitive remediation, work, skills training, health and wellness, and adaptation. Following the clients’ needs, they figure out what all fields they need to work at, eventually enhancing your mental health.
More than technical skills, clients need to work on soft skills. This treatment includes assertiveness, interpersonal skills, social skills, self-awareness, and stress management. Role development like parenting is another important aspect that needs mention. Occupational Therapists pay equal attention to these as well.
Occupational therapists help the client develop non-vocational interests, in other words, hobbies. For a client, knowing what allows them to feel at ease and makes them happy, is very important. Therapists use various methods to assist the client in figuring out their hobbies if they do not already have some. If they can recall what their hobbies used to be, occupational therapists encourage them to pursue all or some of them again. They might also help in coming across some new hobbies, as need be.
Facilitate independent living
While the client was going through various treatments and therapies, they might have begun to depend on their family and friends to a great extent. However, it is notable that at some point they will have to learn to live independently. To make the task easier, OTs do not fail to include this in their Plan of Care. They facilitate independent living by aiding the client in using community resources, managing their time, keeping track of their medications, and handling their home and its affairs efficiently.
Personal grooming is, undoubtedly, taken care of by occupational therapists too. They train the client in keeping minimal hygiene, both personal as well as of their surroundings. Not surprisingly, an occupational therapist evaluates and treats sensory processing deficits as well. They might engage in monitoring ongoing job placements or if need be, monitor their employment search over and above.
Occupational Therapy does nothing but good to your mental health!
All psychological practices aim at uplifting one’s mental health and they are prepared accordingly. Mental illness is the leading cause of disability and thus asks for an equal amount of attention. It impacts an individual’s ability to perform daily-life activities remarkably. Productive and meaningful activities, nonetheless, can be restored with the proper approach. Therapies aim at lessening emotional pressure on the client, unfolding the potential for positive growth, modifying habits, increasing self-awareness, and being able to hold relationships and employment. Although all psychotherapies have similar aims and goals, all differ significantly in the methods they use, their concepts, and the techniques they involve.
The concept of occupational therapy is different from that of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Likewise, the methods their practitioners use are different too. Occupational therapy allows you to maintain a work discipline so you can find employment. It does not end at that. Indeed the therapists make sure to follow up. They become your support system, if we may. And support systems always lead you towards better mental health.