The True Essence of Occupational Therapy

There is a recent article in the New York Times which featured occupational therapist Jodi Levin. The article “Coaching the Comeback” written by Jan Hoffman has successfully captured the true essence of occupational therapy. This is a good article to recommend to people who are still clueless on what the field of occupational therapy is all about.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Ms. Levin, 28, has worked on the brain injury unit here for six years. Daily, she confronts the fallout from behavior that has been reckless or cruel, with injuries caused by drug overdoses, drunken drivers and drive-by shootings. Many of her patients have had strokes or brain tumors. She has also treated Iraq war veterans, who are now trickling into nonmilitary facilities like Kessler largely because of the persistence of their relatives.

Her treatment plans adjust to the serendipity or horror of a split second: a hit during a football game, a slip on an icy patch, a veering car. Annually in America, there are 1.5 million traumatic brain injuries, a category that includes external blows to the head but excludes damage caused by illness.

The extent of destruction to a brain, the possibility of recovery for each patient, hinges on so much — and so little. Ms. Levin’s definition of optimism for one patient may be regaining the ability to drive. For another, it may be the ability to blink in assent.

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