Mental and Emotional Wellness and Occupational Therapy
In October 2015 I had the honor of co-facilitating a “Think Tank” lecture on spirituality for occupational therapy (OT) students at the University of Toronto. This experience made me reflect on my practice as an OT.
I remembered I was drawn to OT because of its holistic approach –
looking at the whole person and his or her environment.
However, while working within the medical system or convention western medicine, I had lost this view. I was focusing primarily on the physical or cognitive issues my client presented with. I had completely lost sight of my client’s emotional, mental and spiritual health. Yet I realized now how interconnected emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health are. There truly is a mind-body connection.
One thing that really struck me while at the University of Toronto was that within the centre of the model that the OT students were studying is SPIRIT. Spirit is the core of human beings.
In fact the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy defines spirit as the
“energy or life force that permeates all living things”.
It’s almost as if I have gone in a full circle. I started with a conventional/western medical view of occupational therapy, entered my own journey of emotional, mental and spiritual healing (via holistic and integrative modalities) and returned to see that occupational therapy at its core is about our spiritual, mental and emotional wellness. As an OT I finally see how we are whole beings and that includes our spiritual, emotional, cognitive and physical being.
For my “broken spirit”, for lack of a better term, I feel I have been on a journey of healing the past few years in which I have been gathering up these broken pieces whether they were from childhood, teenage years or adulthood. I have been embracing the parts of me that were hurt, shunned or repressed and accepting them so that I am whole again.
I am re-membering who I am and not what others say I should or should not be.
“It is the journey that matters, not the destination” Unknown.
I am curious to know – what you do for your mental and emotional health. How do you deal with mental/emotional issues?
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