Thanks to inspiration from Brock Cook (who is the author of the fantastic Occupied Podcast), I recently ran an informal “occupational audit” of my practice. In my case I wanted to understand not just how much time I was spending doing therapy - but how often was I engaged in occupation-based practice.
What I noticed was shocking.
If I list out my clinical interactions in the last week from most to least common, most of my time was spent in interview and coaching (eg. education, goal setting, pacing, planning, etc...) followed by component based interventions (eg. attention training, visual training, exercises of various kinds) with less than 10% of my time spent actually working with people IN occupation.
I will have days where I don’t practice ANY occupation-based intervention. How can this be!?
I have total control of my work and can decide how I address almost all clinical interactions - so there aren’t any excuses.
I believe it has to do with habit and conditioning. The way we practice is the way we continue to practice. I’m in the middle of my own practical paradigm shift. After 4 years in the field, I’m rediscovering and struggling with the importance and complexities of OT. I’ve felt an urge to return to my roots and make an effort to move towards an occupation-based practice. It’s not easy, but it’s happening slowly and surely.
I’d encourage you to take a look at your practice too. The point is not to show your working incorrectly - but to help you realize your full occupational potential. Armed with the knowledge that so little of my time is “authentically OT” I’m inspired to make a change - and I hope you are too.