Day 52… (always look on bright side of life/plants)

Day 52

4. I love OT because we can problem solve in creative and innovative ways.

It was a busy day at school today. I wish I could tell you in more detail, but I don’t want to risk breaking confidentiality.

The children I have been working with each have very different needs, some sensory, physical, behavioural and even emotional it means with every child your therapeutic use of self changes.

“Therapeutic use of self is ordinarily used to refer to therapists’ conscious efforts to optimize their interactions with clients (Cole & McLean, 2003; Punwar & Peloquin, 2000) citied in Taylor et al (2009). To me it involves having an empathy for a child/service user and using that empathy to decide which tools you need from the OT tool box to meet their needs. In a simpler way, it is the way you are with different people. Some children benefit from me as a practitioner working in a friendly role, whilst others a motherly role and other children benefit when I am more assertive and direct. I love using my therapeutic use of self, especially when you find what works with a particular child as it is very rewarding. At the same time it can be very challenging because every child I work with on placement, I alter my therapeutic use of self and this can be tiring to change and alter during different sessions throughout the day. Another time this changes, is when having a discussion with a parent or even a teacher, I find myself behaving very differently to what I do during sessions with a child. For example, I feel part of the role of being a paediatric OT is to be able to play, playing can be challenging for adults, then when talking to parents you need to switch from playful mood to a role with effective communication and making the parent feel at ease.  I feel it is an essential part of being a client centred practitioner and is key in building a good rapport with the children and families.

Tell me your experiences of therapeutic use of self??

NOTE TO FAMILY: visitors tomorrow!!!


Taylor, R. R., Lee, S. W., Kielhofner, G., & Ketkar, M. (2009). Therapeutic use of self: A nationwide survey of practitioners’
attitudes and experiences. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 63, 198–207


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