Occupational Therapy: Treatment for Emotional and Social Dysfunction

While most people usually think of psychologists and psychiatrists when a person suffers from a certain mental problem or disorder, only few people would think of occupational therapist because the functions and skills of professional occupational therapists or OTs are not that known to people, yet. However, with the increasing numbers of people suffering from numerous mental illnesses, a lot of health care professionals who can provide mental health care are now rising in the health industry and one of them is occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy deals with emotional, psychological and mental disorders – that is why their scope of study and functions may sometimes overlap with other common health care professions like psychiatry and physical therapy. However, occupational therapy has some specific functions that are not usually handled or dealt with in other mental health fields.

According to occupational therapy discipline, a person’s occupation has a direct effect to that person’s life, health and overall well-being. In occupational therapy, occupation does not only refer to a person’s job or profession but it refers to all kinds of activities and things that occupies a person’s time. From various activities in school or tasks in the office, occupation also refers to the person’s personal and daily activities and chores at home and in the community and even the activities during leisure time.

When a person cannot function well at home, in his or her job or in the society he or she belongs, that person may be suffering from a mental disorder that needs to be addressed properly through occupational therapy. Because occupations or people’s activities are what give them drive and purpose in life, it is important that people know how to function well and perform these tasks so they will not lose their abilities and reasons to live.

Some people who were not able to recover from these mental disorders suffer from permanent disabilities and serious health problems. With occupational therapy, the patient’s psychological and physical problems are not the only thing that is being addressed but even essential factors like occupation is also being looked into. This is what makes occupational therapy unique than other common mental health fields.

Occupational therapists are knowledgeable and skilled health care professionals who have gained sufficient education and training in order to become a licensed and certified occupational therapists. With occupational therapy, people who are suffering from disabilities and health problems caused by or related to emotional and social dysfunctions can be properly and effectively treated.

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