In this changing world, we can be OT explorers…following our passions and ideas for a better world with happier, engaged people in it!  The following stories are from OTs who wanted to do things differently with their OT philosophy, skills, and knowledge.

Some are working as independent OTs offering individual therapy, case management or other services. Some have started social enterprises or are working with charities.  Some are working within existing statutory services and doing things differently within an OT role. We also have stories from some educators who are setting an example of diverse OT practice for their students. 

Whilst we could separate out these ways of working into specialisms and give them different titles like Independent OT, Specialist OT, Consultant etc, I really feel we need to all be called just “occupational therapists” as it will break down the differences in our practice and how we communicate and work with each other:)   Enjoy the stories.

SFC - Lyndsey BarrettSenior Occupational Therapist, Lyndsey Barrett worked in the NHS for 19 years. Towards the end of this period she began to question whether the traditional delivery methods employed by the NHS are always the most effective means of achieving positive client outcomes on a large scale. Read more

Rachel WilsonI qualified as an OT in 2003. I knew I wanted to be an OT from the age of 13, and I was not going to let my stigmatised teenage single mum status stop me from living the dream! Read more

RACHEL JENKINSArmed with my first class Bsc(Hons) in occupational therapy I thought the job market would open up before me without too much effort. How wrong I was. Firstly there were no jobs. Secondly, my grade counted for little when competing against people with years of experience. Read more

Karen DaviesKaren Davies is an Occupational Therapist, with a special interest in helping people to return to some kind of occupation. She has worked mostly in mental health. She has also worked with unemployed people, helping them to regain confidence and find a place in their community where they can use their skills. Read more

ANNA STICKLEYAfter working as an OT in adult mental health for a number of years, I had the opportunity to manage a psychosocial project in Uganda. It had been one of my childhood dreams to live in a mud hut and do humanitarian work! (I still don’t know why)! Read more

OT Doing it Differently: Liz Gow“I qualified in Glasgow and in 2004 thought I had done my dash with OT, after nearly 10 years.  I was and am still in New Zealand.  I loved OT and it meant so much, so before giving away my Profession I felt I needed to be sure it was OT that was not working for me. Read more
OT’s doing it differently: Awele OdehMy name is Awele Odeh and I’m based in East London/ Essex border. I’ve worked as an OT for 11 yrs. In 2007 I decided that I needed to rejeuvenate my passion for OT (we’ve all felt this way, I know), so I invested in a new set of skills and I studied to become an NLP Master Practitioner. Read more
PETER SCOTCHERMy career with the NHS began in 2003 when I started an Occupational Therapy (OT) degree at Sheffield Hallam University. Prior to that I had been a support worker for a private Brain Injury Rehab company and I always liked the idea of health care outside the NHS. I also had a feeling that “private practice” was the dark side, putting money before people. Read more

DR LYNNE GOODACREMy introductory training as a coach was also based on a series of highly interactive workshops. We met as a cohort in London and worked together intensively learning through a very experiential face to face approach. However, when I moved into my certification programme things changed dramatically. Read more

JULIA PFLAUMI work in a clinic for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is a fascinating area to work in. I started in a new Occupational Therapy role in the clinic at the beginning of the year as it expands to offer more psychosocial interventions. Read more

ABIGAIL OFFICER I perfected my ability to sell the profession to others, along with the skills and qualities we have to offer. We all find that we are constantly explaining what we do to others, and there isn’t a simple explanation! OT is always expanding and we won’t necessarily find work in traditional settings. Read more

MICK COLLINSI’ve been a closet OT all my life but way back in the 60’s inadvertently trained as a nurse instead. Since then the challenges that life produces have drawn me time and again to awareness of the vital importance of balancing ‘Doing’ as well as ‘Being’. Psychosynthesis training… Read more

BARBARA NEIMANUnique exercises in yoga, meditation, guided imagery and somatic explorations fill this comprehensive skills guide. This book is brimming with tools and stories supporting critical life skills for families, classrooms and therapy sessions. Read more

Pauline Cooper, Occupational TherapistWonderful start of the year (2017) for UWaT: finding a working ‘Me’, at MIND, great success and lots of talk about training the trainer, rolling out programme across SE Kent – then take-over scuppers the start and big hold up… wait… wait… next – health problems – one consultant gives diagnosis and tests… Read more


Sleep has a direct impact on our function, routines and roles, and for some it is considered as a meaningful occupation. Therefore it comes as no surprise that sleep and rest were added as domains of occupation in the 2008 version of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (AOTA, 2008). Read more


This is a summary of an educational project I am implementing in a health promotion course for OT students. I am really interested in how to best prepare our students to “do OT differently!” This project involves teaching empowerment through coaching strategies. Read more


I have been very fortunate to experience both traditional and non-traditional approaches to my work as a role emerging (RE) OT. I have always been fascinated by the concept of colour as a therapeutic medium, and for 25+ years have attended training courses to explore this concept. Read more

JILL MAGLIOThe benefits of combining circus and occupational therapy are numerous including its ability to increase coordination, body awareness, teamwork, problem solving, perseverance, fitness, and the acquisition of life skills were various populations. Read more


I felt confident that I had made the right choice in my first job and indeed there were many advantages and opportunities within a private medium secure hospital but I felt stifled by 9-5 working that challenged the contextual dimensions of occupation. Read more

Jamie Grant, the OT hubJamie moved from London in 2015, to train as an Occupational Therapist at the University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol.With past experiences in hospitality, television production and student radio, he took a new direction. Read more
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