What is Occupational Therapy?


Occupational Therapy (OT) is a science degree-based, health and social care profession, regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council. Occupational therapy takes a “whole-person approach” to both mental and physical health and wellbeing and enables individuals to achieve their full potential. Read more on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website.

Occupational therapy promotes health, wellbeing and independence through participation in activities or occupation. These are the things that make us who we are and give our life meaning, from daily tasks such as washing and dressing, to working, socialising or taking part in a hobby. Occupational therapy gives people the tools and skills to do the things they need or want to do, removing obstacles to disability, injury, illness or other conditions.

“Occupational therapy enables people to achieve health, wellbeing and life satisfaction through participation in occupation.”(RCOT Definition 2004)

Occupational Therapists work in many fields:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health and learning disabilities
  • Vocational rehabilitation (returning to and remaining in work)
  • Public health
  • Children and young people’s services
  • Housing

Cup-O-T: Wellness and Therapy Services works with people to manage their mental wellness.  For further details on how Cup-O-T can help you please visit our Services page.

The Occupational Therapist’s role:

Occupational therapists work with people to help them achieve goals that are important to them. They take a holistic approach, assessing each individual’s needs as a ‘whole’ including physical, psychological, social, and emotional aspects.

Occupational Therapists use a range of tools, techniques and skills. They may:

  • Teach new skills for self care, home, work, school or leisure activities
  • Develop a rehabilitation programme to help rebuild lost skills and restore lost confidence
  • Advise on home and workplace modifications
  • Give support for managing pain
  • Devise coping strategies for stress, anxiety or depression
  • Provide memory triggers and techniques
  • Support people with making social connections
  • Assist people to return to work
  • Organise support and rehabilitation groups for carers and service users.

The benefits of occupational therapy:

Occupational therapy improves the lives of people of all ages by helping them to take part in the occupations or activities of daily living. An Occupational Therapist can help someone to manage activities safely and independently; achieve personal goals; understand their illness or condition; maintain their dignity; improve their self confidence and self-esteem; restore enjoyment and participation in favourite pastimes or hobbies.


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