Aberdeen, WA – Carol Stormer is an occupational therapist who works for Jackson Therapy Partners.
“Occupational therapy is all about the bigger picture,” says Carol. “We look at the whole person, both in terms of their physical abilities, their cognition, their mental abilities, and how they're performing in life, and determine how our work can translate into making your life better. Can you really apply it to your life?”
Having an awareness of your body may seem like a strange concept: how can you not be aware of your own body? But think of all the movements you make throughout a day, and the habitual movements you make every day; over time your lifestyle may be contributing to your issues.
“There's something at the root cause that is causing a complication,” says Carol. “Something needs to change, whether it's activity or how the patient approaches daily tasks, or it could be that their entire system is out of balance.”
Still, says Carol, she can never get someone to change their lifestyle if they don't want to, but if we can raise awareness the patient may be able to gradually develop new habits.
It’s for this reason that occupational therapy also has a mental health component. Indeed, occupational therapy is unique in that most occupational therapists are educated in both mental health and physical rehabilitation and the future is headed to holistic occupational therapy by 2025.
“OT is uniquely focused in the whole self,” says Carol. “The more motivated people are, the better they do. Our job is not unlike being a coach or a cheerleader. We're really excited about what you're doing, and we encourage and support what you’re doing to find what works to keep you on that path to recovery.”