One of the things which makes occupational therapy special is its committed holistic approach. Yet even though the environment is considered an integral part of the OT process, the profession - at the UK at least - seems to be overlooking the single biggest threat to humans and their environment – climate change.
The core of our practice focuses on activity analysis, grading and purposeful activity, with groups and individuals. We employ our therapeutic use of self and adapt the environment to benefit clients and improve their quality of life. If OTs do not address the wider global and environmental issues and their probable impacts on clients, can occupational therapy be truly holistic in practice? By looking for the root causes and barriers to occupational performance, OTs aim to promote wellbeing and prevent ill health and relapse. It follows that we should be moving away from clinically driven thinking, towards models of wellness and satisfying, sustainable lives.