Showing posts from March, 2019

What will happen to the Wilma West Library and archives of the occupational therapy profession?

During the last year, minutes from the Board meetings of the American Occupational Therapy Association indicate that there has been discussion on two matters that have an important impact on the Wilma West Library, home of the collected resources that catalog the history of occupational therapy. Around last year, discussion apparently started getting more specific related to sale of AOTA's current building.  In May 2018 the board authorized the (re)allocation of funds necessary to pay off the mortgage on the building and exploration of new sites for the organization's operations.  It is unclear if a new location has been identified, but in the recent February 2019 meeting a current board member will provide consultation regarding redesign and build out of the new space, indicating that the process is moving forward. Also noted in the February 2019 minutes is that AOTA will take sole responsibility and ownership for the Wilma West Library, excluding graduate theses and d

Degree escalation and doctoral education are sinking the occupational therapy profession

Occupational therapy started on a simple premise - that man, through the use of his hands as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health.  That statement was provided to the profession by Mary Reilly, our greatest theoretician. It is a simple concept, borne out of a core philosophy of pragmatism and infused with a dose of all the good intentions of the moral treatment movement.  If you carefully read that core philosophy of occupational therapy you will hear the Emersonian reverberations of self-reliance: 'Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.'  That is what occupational therapy seeks to nurture in the spirit of people: Independence, harmony with the self, harmony with nature, and a satisfaction in authentic work and effort and purpose and meaning. Occupational therapy is a concept that was designed to create solutions for the problems of living - and was field tested in the settlement house projects of Chicago an