Posts

Globalization and occupation therapy - a continued musing.

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I have been talking about the implications of globalization on the occupational therapy profession for quite some time - it started off with blog posts here  and then a presentation at OT24VX in 2015 .  Then I gave the topic a whole chapter in my theory textbook in 2019 .  Then there were more blog posts here and here . In sum, I am uncertain if occupational therapy is a unitary global profession, although I now add this caveat: at least as understood in the publications of academics.  I add this caveat now because I am uncertain if the things that people in academia write about truly reflects actual practice in other countries.  I know that in the United States there is some academic scholarship that is highly relevant to practice, and other scholarship that leaves me wondering if I am an occupational therapist according to the way some suggest that practice should be constructed. So for example I read the Canadian Journal and wonder if everyday practitioners are functioning in '

Environmental sustainability and occupational therapy practice, revisited.

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  Please go here for my first thoughts on sustainability in occupational therapy around ten years ago . I received an email from a colleague who has been an advocate and published author on this topic asking me if I had the opportunity to revisit my thoughts on sustainability and occupational therapy. In fact I have continued to think about this, so I thought I would document my response here. Hi XXXXX-  Thanks for reaching out. I have previously and still believe that the study of climate change itself should remain within the purview of climate scientists. It seems to me that when it is co-opted by distal groups (including occupational therapy) that the issue tends to be used to promote a political social justice agenda. I continue to object to that because I don't know that occupational therapy can advance climate science itself and I find that the proposed actions advance very specific political ideologies and constricts the intellectual diversity within the profession.  I di

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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