Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Monday, 13 October 2008

How do YOU engage in activity?

image: Pennington Flash at sunset Oct 2008

Fiona recently posted about a leisure activity she engaged in that made her clearly reflect on the importance of engaging in an activity - but then following through and making links to our occupational philosophy and suggests
"So if you have any free time ...I would recommend trying something completely different (it doesn't have to be a classical music concert!) and enjoying yourself...but also stopping for a moment to consider some of the observations you can make?"

Our current Level 3 students are undertaking their module "Doing, Being and Becoming" (see
Wilcock, A.A. (1999). Reflections on doing, being and becoming. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (1999) 46, 1–11 which enables them to engage in an activity they have not previosuly engaged in ( this year it's a choice between floristry, drama, pottery or yoga). The idea is that through engagement in a leisure activity they can experience concepts of doing (engagement in the form and perfomance of the activity), develop meaning for themselves within a new activity - (personal, socio-cultural etc) and consider the impact of their engagment on their well being.
It is suprising the impact that these regular and everyday leisure activities can have on the students as they share their experiences within the set seminars and attempt to underpin these experiences with the theoretical concepts and an evidence base.
Students overall report a total immersement in the activity to the point of losing focus on other everyday concerns, a sense of achievement and pride in their involvement - whether that be through an end product or a satisfaction of having worked together in a group to complete a task and a much deeper understanding of how, as occupational therapists, they will use activity in their furture role.
As occupational therapists we are very much involved in enabling people to "Do" but how often do we consider how the doing will enable someone (ourselves or our service user) to "Be" in the moment and utimately "Become" through engagement in activity?
Your comments on this would be welcome, maybe you could share one of your own experiences of using and/or engaging with clients using leisure activity.


Sarah Stewart said...

My problem is that I am too immersed in my work/study. Doing soemthing completely different would be really good for me, I know. It takes some degree of discipline though, to tear myself away.

Angela said...

Now, as an occupational therapist I may say that it appears that your occupational balance could be dysfunctional! It is important to get a balance of work, rest and play - at times the balance shifts with deadlines and unavoidable situations - but then you should be able to come back to balance again in order for health and wellbeing to be maintained.
Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to plan in some time to engage in a leisure activity you have never done before and to allow yourself to be immersed for the time it takes to complete the session/activity/product etc. Maybe you might feel able to write a blog post on your experience. I'd be interested to know what you think.

sarah h said...

Last year i did this module and went chocolate making. I found the concepts of the articles difficult to grasp at first however once i did get it, it made me realise many concepts around occupational therapy, which i felt i did not fully understand before. it made me realise that by participating in an activity as a group that it was meaningful and purposeful to us all in very different ways and that occupational therapists factilitating craft sessions these are many things we need to experience to enable our clients to become. I found from this module that we all gained something different from participating in this occupation. Some had prior meaning or symbolic meaning, some experience flow, some felt that the end product was important and some experienced well being by being able to share our chocolates with other. there were many other concepts i had not appreciated before such as the supportive environment and the praise from others. i realise now that by "being" creative through activity we all experienced well being and were motivated to do it again. it gave me a personal experience of the postive aspects of what clients experience by engaging in meaningful and purposeful how they can become occupational beings. also how there may be underlying meanings which the therapist or client may or may not be aware of until they engaged in the activity.

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Angela said...

Hi Geoff
Thanks for your supportive comments. I shall email you as suggested.