Posts

On American Pickers and some homeless treasures of the occupational therapy profession

Image
Many people accumulate stuff, and people ascribe varying levels of value to their stuff.  Some people can't part with stuff because of sentimental feelings.  Some people can't part with stuff because it represents a deeper psychological affliction .  We have cultural movements now that address the problematic relationships that people have with their stuff. I initiated an Ebay hobby recently.  There is nothing like the death of parents and the associated task housecleaning that prompts assessment of the value of earthly goods. I have had quite a bit of fun selling things that I no longer wanted. I am a fan of the show ' American Pickers ' and am moved by Mike Wolfe's philosophy about finding things that people no longer wanted and 'putting them into their place' with someone who loved or appreciated them.  That is the flip side of my Ebay hobby - I have also purchased a few things that other people no longer wanted - and in doing so that brings me 'joy.

The stories we tell ourselves about the past

Image
The concept of narrative captured my interest sometime around 1984 - ironically - because it may have been the Orwell novel with that year's title that prompted my thinking on the topic. I was interested in written narrative and how Winston Smith established his rebellion and then his freedom through a written form (even if it all eventually led to a horrible end). I was also fascinated by his attraction to the paperweight that he purchased - something that was old - and seemingly of unknowable utility. What was the purpose of knowledge, or of the past - except that it all did represent a freedom from the drudgery of the present.  So the paperweight meant something to him, just like his writing meant something. Winston told himself a story about the past.  He created a narrative. As I am on a precipice of decision regarding our private practice I find myself spinning narratives, perhaps to tell myself a story about the past.  I started telling the stories to my wife - maybe to ease

The New Fascism in Occupational Therapy

Image
I am sometimes hesitant to extend my commentary to the academic editorializing that happens in the occupational therapy literature of other countries, but I am unable to remain silent.  Too often the ideas expressed elsewhere slither their way into the thinking of academics in the United States. And, of course, any objection to these ideas immediately causes one to be branded xenophobic, and usually worse, so I will simply gird myself for that criticism; I know it is coming.  Over time I have raised the issue of international 'goodness of fit' of philosophical constructs - initially in OT24VX presentations.  I talked about the incompatibility of 'occupational justice' models in societies that had health systems that had elements of free-market construction as opposed to those that are more fully socialized.  For a while I tried to discuss reverse colonialism, thinking that if I spoke the language of those who perceived themselves to be oppressed by Western OT thinking

The problems with polarity frames in occupational therapy theory

Image
There is nothing quite like starting off a Monday morning with a good theory article.  I opened up my Twitter feed to find a link to Taff & Putnam's contribution entitled "Northern philosophies and professional neocolonialism in occupational therapy: A historical review and critique." The authors "suggest with confidence that the current American philosophical landscape in 2021 is a mix of mostly analytic philosophy accompanied by a smaller measure of neopragmatism predisposed to a Continental mindset." (Taff & Putnam, 2022).  I am uncertain if this is a view shared by all, and to any degree that it is true, this perspective does not respect an entire heritage of thinking that has been adopted into the American perspective generally and by occupational therapy practitioners specifically. The fact that many occupational therapy practitioners in the United States continue to frame their practice around core American values is a topic that is important to e

When occupational therapy and public health collide

Image
 Presented at NYSOTA's Annual Conference. 11/13/21 Thanks for stopping by to look at my slides! Click here for slides!

Will the occupational therapy Academic Leadership Council stand up to the accreditation function of its own organization?

Image
  The American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) recently published a paper entitled "Future of physical therapist education programs in higher education."  This paper should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in the proliferation of some allied health programs, credential escalation, and the intersection of these issues with practice. For starters, it is important to disambiguate ACAPT from CAPTE (Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) .  CAPTE grants accreditation to entry level programs for the physical therapy profession, and although 'independent' is also a part of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) .  ACAPT is a membership association of physical therapy educational programs and their educators.  ACAPT is also an offshoot of the APTA.  This complex relationship makes the ACAPT position statement rather interesting. The ACAPT paper identifies a few key points: 1. There are more PT programs being developed and

In search of an evidence-based approach to occupational therapy practice education that would include simulation experiences

Image
  Simulation is a methodology used to replicate real-world tasks.  Simulation provides experiences that lead to direct learning or that can be used as an assessment of competence.  Such tasks have been used as a primary tactic in occupational therapy and other rehabilitation services since their inception - although they were generally applied in a therapeutic context.  For example, an individual would learn how to dress themselves out of context to develop skill, and then that skill would be transferred to contextual learning.  Sometimes, more esoterically, a simulated activity broken down into components would be used to practice parts of tasks that would then be scaffolded in a total practice method.  Either way, simulated experiences are a staple methodology used by occupational therapy professionals for many years. Over time, preferences emerged for 'real-world' and 'contextually-relevant' experience - so much so that entire service delivery systems incorporated &#