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June 1958

Dynamic Aspects of Occupational Therapy

Author Affiliations


From McGill University, Department of Psychiatry, and Allan Memorial Institute.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(6):706-710. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340060104014

A feature disturbing to occupational therapists in many mental institutions is their low prestige within the therapeutic team. Should a grading of the ancillary services according to their value for the therapeutic process be attempted, psychiatrists and patients alike would probably rank the nursing profession highest, social workers second, and occupational therapists lowest. Reasons for this low ranking, as far as psychiatrists are concerned, may be (a) lack of knowledge and insufficient appreciation of the services rendered by occupational therapists, and (b) an appropriate, justifiable response to the inadequate contribution of this ancillary service to the therapeutic process.

In what follows, psychiatric occupational therapy will be submitted to a critical analysis, and some suggestions will be advanced as to how its scope could be enlarged. The paper will deal with (1) some historical considerations, (2) the training and orientation of occupational therapists, (3) a field survey of occupational therapy, and