As regular readers of our blog might know our staff discussions here at Salford can be very thought provoking and somewhat challenging. Today we were attempting to think of a client group that would NOT benefit from occupational therapy and used ourselves as a test case.
At the moment we are a very, very stressed team; I personally feel I am drowning in a virtual lake as virtual realities are a theme in my life at the moment and then when I come up for air I am crushed back down by a mound of marking (That makes me feel breathless as I type actually…. Quick, think about air…. Phew). It would be fair to say that although none of us has any diagnosable conditions, we are clearly experiencing a case of occupational imbalance in the form of having too much to do, and not enough of it is fun. Loosely based on the Model of Human Occupation my assessment of our team is as follows.
This component of the model requires me to consider the team’s motivations for driving ourselves to distraction. We want to be effective do a good job, have interesting projects on the go, keep our minds occupied and sustain strong relationships with the people who matter to us at home and at work.
I now need think about how our roles, routines and habits contribute to our current state of flux, and they most certainly do contribute! I have many (often competing and contradictory) roles to juggle. My routines and habits are largely supportive of my worker role, but not so much of my personal life. Some of the factors that impinge on this are out of my control, others are consequent to the choices I make.
Do I have the skills to perform? I do when my head isn’t quite so mashed! But just now, I’m struggling to put a coherent sentence together. My cognitive skills are taking a hit and they are the key requirement for my work, and my ability to manage all other aspects of life. I’m fortunate in realising that my colleagues feel similarly, and also in knowing that the steps to achieving occupational balance are achievable.
Despite having set out only to establish our candidacy for occupational therapy all good occupational therapists will end an assessment with a plan for enhancing occupational balance and/or occupational performance. We will….
Recognise our motivators. I’m happy with them and they are congruent with my personal and professional values.
Assess our work life balance and negotiate appropriate adjustment, creating more opportunity for down time either alone or with friends and family.
Accept that “good enough” is ok.
Acknowledge what is and isn’t in our sphere of control and not sweat the small stuff (or even the big uncontrollable stuff).
Hopefully our plan will create more “head space”, enhanced cognitive functioning and better output in terms of our motivators. In relation to the original question though, what do you think (yes, you)? Who would NOT benefit from occupational therapy?