An occupational therapy practice is a clinic or private office facility in which therapists aid patients in the physical, emotional, and mental problems that may be hindering their productivity at home and in the workplace. The practice can be made up of actual therapists, nurses, aides, and assistants; as well as a variety of other clerical and office related professionals. Some practices have a specialty, such as occupational therapy targeted to children or the disabled.
Occupational therapy involves any variety of physical therapies, emotional therapy and counseling, and medication therapies. The goal of these are to aid the patient in learning new skills, overcoming personal obstacles, dealing with physical limitations more easily and being given medications to aid in maintaining overall health when necessary. Patients can include those with a mental illness, retardation, injured persons, or a learning disability. Some patients attend therapy to re-enter the workforce or become able to learn job related skills. Others come at a young age to avoid or improve vocational outlook later in life.
The occupational therapy practice may contribute all of these benefits to patients by staffing multiple therapists and professionals who handle each of these cases. Generally, one or two professional therapists will start an occupational therapy practice and hire on additional staff members as needed. Patients often need multiple professionals working with them at once to obtain optimum results.
A combination of therapies and caregivers are generally found together in an occupational therapy practice. Physical therapists and educators may work alongside more traditional therapists to provide treatment. Others take a more generalized approach with head therapists being licensed for all of these therapies at once.
Determining who needs occupational therapy rather than a more general therapy approach will depend on several key factors. For instance, someone who is depressed may benefit more from a psychologist than an occupational professional if his condition is having only mild effects on his work life. However, if that patient is under-performing on the job, can’t find a job or is at risk of losing his job due to depression then occupational therapy used in conjunction with medication and/or counseling may be in order.
To find an occupational practice, an Internet or phone directory search is generally all that is required. The type of practice chosen will depend on the needs of the patient. Some occupational therapy practices may only specialize in specific problems or with a certain age group. Children’s practices tend to operate separately from those that are tailored to adults.