What Is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist & Why Might I See One?
Firstly, we need to ask ourselves what is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy (https://www.otaus.com.au/about/about-ot) is concerned with
‘occupation’, meaning it is all the activities, roles and routines we have and do that contribute
to a meaningful and purposeful life, and allow us to be a part of broader society. Through
participation in occupations and promotion of independence this is how we as Occupational
Therapists provide our therapeutic approach.

How does someone become an Occupational Therapist?
Occupational Therapists are university trained health professionals and AHPRA registered.
Occupational Therapists can complete a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) or
Graduate Entry Masters in Occupational Therapy. There are also Honours and other research
streams including PhD, that Occupational Therapists may choose to complete as additional training.

What does an Occupational Therapist and specifically Mental Health Occupational Therapist
do?
Occupational Therapists (https://wfot.org/about/about-occupational-therapy) focus on the
person as a whole, and see people as part of a system whether it be family or kinship unit,
culture, spiritual beliefs, or any other group or community that they may belong to. As we
recognise that this is what contributes to a broader sense of wellbeing and health.
A mental health occupational therapist (https://wfot.org/resources/occupational-therapy-and-
mental-health) broadly will work with the person to address their mental health or wellbeing
concerns through the lens of understanding those experiences and their impact on function.
Function being, looking after one’s self-care needs, living independently, engaging in
education or employment, engaging in social interactions & relationships with others,
managing our emotions to name a few.

What are some examples where I might see an Occupational Therapist?
– Addressing concentration & attention difficulties, and other executive functioning issues
(such as planning, organisation & problem solving skills).
– Understanding feelings of overwhelm and learning ways to regulate emotions and
manage worries.
– Managing anxiety through understanding thoughts, feelings and behaviours as it may
interact with friendships, relationships, social situations, task performance, perfectionism
etc.
– Managing low mood or depression with application of a behavioural activation approach
whereby engaging in activity with a graded approach can assist wellbeing.
– Improving resilience in coping with change or transition in our life, through using a
strengths and values-based approach to evaluating routines, meaningful activities & life
roles and how it relates to identity, meaning and purpose and our overall sense of
wellbeing.

If you think this sounds along the line of what you might be looking for, an enquiry
(https://adelaidetherapy.com/practitioners/louisa-difiore/) is welcomed to discuss your needs
further.