Professionals in the field of occupational therapy use theories, models of practice, and frame of reference to guide their practice. Theories, in particular, are the base of any profession in which changes and construction can be made (Elliott, Wittman & Velde, 2002). On the other hand, models provide structures and help occupational therapy professionals establish better, profession-specific interventions that are scientifically based. Models must be relevant and specific to the client’s needs in the various contexts of occupational therapy. As contained in the document, the frame of reference represents the core values and concepts about occupational therapy, including their domain of knowledge and the evaluation and intervention procedure. All these vital areas and ideas in occupational are essential, especially at the entry level-education and framework. A professional’s exposure to these critical areas determines their professionalism and how much they can deliver to the company, and models and theories contribute to the professional’s occupational perspective.
The Person-Environment-Occupation Model is one of the models that have guided my occupation perspective and occupational therapy practice. This model holds that the environment is very instrumental in occupational training since the transaction of a person, the environment, and the occupation is usually the outcome of occupational performance. The environmental factors that influence a person’s career performance are quite broad and may be influenced by cultural, physical, socioeconomic, social considerations, and institutional factors. In case any of these factors affect a person and the occupation, occupational performance goes down. This model has formed the basis of my practice and occupational performance as I ensure that the environment around me is safe for practice, and I ensure that I don’t stand in the way for others in the workplace. Together with the Lifestyle Performance Model, which reinforces that life satisfaction is based on engaging in meaningful occupations, I have been able to practice in my profession and enjoy it to the full.
The Behavioral theory is significant to me personally because I believe in punishment for undesirable behaviors and reinforcement and rewarding desirable behaviors. Through the behavioral Framework of Reference, I am able to identify a specific behavior of the client that determines the baseline performance and design a format for collecting data. I then chose a reinforcement and the reinforcement schedule, plan the data collected, and shape an adaptive behavior that is likely to improve the client’s occupational performance in his/her occupation. Behavioral theory has enabled me to handle clients with psychiatric disorders, pediatric clients, and social skills training. Motivation and personality theory has also been instrumental and has guided my occupational perspective. Motivation must not necessarily be in monetary rewards but can also be in words through appreciations and praises. These will motivate the client and make them do things that will earn them awards, gratitude, and tangible rewards. According to Flannery (2017), motivation can also be intrinsic and comes from within someone.
Lastly, Frame of Reference guides occupational therapy practice by delineating assumptions and beliefs about the procedure. Self-advocacy is one of the Frames of Reference in occupational. It is about enabling others to see themselves as useful, experience joy, and engage in essential activities that add meaning to life even in the face of disability ((Kramer, 2018). Self-advocacy is about standing up for yourself, communicate with others, and confirm your interests. An individual should understand this/her weaknesses and strengths and communicate your needs to people. You should also be able to understand the resources or any support that you require in order to succeed. As an occupational therapist, I must assess myself and understand all these aspects about myself before engaging a client. When you engage a client before evaluating yourself and what you need to improve your performance, handling clients may overwhelm you.
Elliott, S., Wittman, P. & Velde, B. (2002). The use of theory in everyday practice: An exploratory study. Occupational Therapy in Healthcare, 16(1), 45-62. https://doi.org/10.1080/J003v16n01_04
Kramer, P. (2018). Frames of reference for pediatric occupational therapy. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Flannery, M. (2017, March). Self-Determination Theory: Intrinsic Motivation and Behavioral Change. In Oncology nursing forum (Vol. 44, No. 2).
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