What are 3 things occupational therapists do?

What are 3 things occupational therapists do?


Occupational therapists play a critical role in helping individuals improve their daily functioning and enhance their quality of life. They work with people of all ages who may have physical, mental, or cognitive challenges that affect their ability to engage in meaningful activities. If you or someone you know is in need of occupational therapy, it’s important to understand what these professionals do and how they can help. In this article, we will explore the three main things that occupational therapists do to support their clients.

Table of Contents

  • The Evaluation Process
  • Treatment Planning and Implementation
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Key Takeaways
  • FAQs
  • Conclusion

The Evaluation Process

The first thing occupational therapists do when working with a new client is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation. This involves gathering information about the individual’s medical history, current abilities, and goals for therapy. The evaluation may include assessments of physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning, as well as observations of the person’s performance in various activities of daily living.

During the evaluation process, occupational therapists use standardized assessments and clinical observations to identify areas of strength and areas that require improvement. They also take into consideration the individual’s personal preferences and environmental factors that may impact their ability to engage in meaningful activities. The evaluation helps occupational therapists develop a clear understanding of the client’s needs and establish a baseline from which to measure progress.

Overall, the evaluation process allows occupational therapists to gather the necessary information to create an individualized treatment plan that addresses the specific challenges and goals of each client.

Treatment Planning and Implementation

Once the evaluation is complete, occupational therapists move on to the next step, which is treatment planning. Based on the information gathered during the evaluation, they develop a personalized treatment plan that outlines the goals, interventions, and expected outcomes for therapy.

The treatment plan may include a variety of interventions aimed at improving the individual’s functional abilities and promoting independence. These interventions can range from physical exercises and sensory integration techniques to cognitive training and adaptive equipment recommendations. Occupational therapists also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists and speech-language pathologists, to ensure comprehensive care.

After the treatment plan is finalized, occupational therapists work closely with their clients to implement the interventions. They provide hands-on guidance and support to help individuals develop new skills, improve their existing abilities, and overcome barriers that may hinder their participation in daily activities. Occupational therapists often work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, and community-based programs.

Therapeutic Interventions

Occupational therapists utilize a wide range of therapeutic interventions to address the unique needs of their clients. These interventions are designed to enhance physical, cognitive, and emotional functioning, as well as promote independence and overall well-being. Some common therapeutic interventions used by occupational therapists include:

  • Physical rehabilitation exercises to improve strength, endurance, and coordination
  • Sensory integration techniques to help individuals process sensory information effectively
  • Cognitive training exercises to enhance memory, attention, and problem-solving skills
  • Activities of daily living (ADL) training to improve self-care skills such as dressing, eating, and bathing
  • Assistive technology recommendations and training to facilitate independence in daily activities
  • Environmental modifications to create a safe and accessible living or work environment

These are just a few examples of the many therapeutic interventions occupational therapists may use. The specific interventions selected for each client depend on their unique needs and goals for therapy.

Key Takeaways

  • Occupational therapists play a crucial role in helping individuals improve their daily functioning and quality of life.
  • The evaluation process is the first step occupational therapists take when working with a new client. It involves gathering information about the individual’s abilities, challenges, and goals for therapy.
  • Treatment planning and implementation involve developing a personalized treatment plan based on the evaluation findings and working closely with clients to implement the interventions.
  • Occupational therapists utilize a variety of therapeutic interventions to address the unique needs of their clients and promote independence in daily activities.


1. How long does occupational therapy typically last?

The duration of occupational therapy varies depending on the individual’s needs and goals. Some individuals may only require a few weeks of therapy, while others may benefit from ongoing sessions over several months or even years. The occupational therapist will work with the client to determine the appropriate duration of therapy.

2. Can occupational therapy help children with developmental delays?

Yes, occupational therapy can be highly beneficial for children with developmental delays. Occupational therapists can help children improve their motor skills, sensory processing, self-care abilities, and overall independence. Early intervention is especially important for maximizing the child’s potential.

3. Do occupational therapists only work with physical disabilities?

No, occupational therapists work with individuals who have a wide range of conditions, including physical, mental, and cognitive challenges. They address the unique needs of each client and develop interventions that promote independence and enhance daily functioning.


Occupational therapists are highly skilled professionals who help individuals overcome physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges that may impact their ability to engage in meaningful activities. By conducting evaluations, developing personalized treatment plans, and implementing therapeutic interventions, occupational therapists support their clients in improving their daily functioning and enhancing their overall quality of life. If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified professional who can provide the necessary support and guidance.

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