All of us want to connect on a meaningful level but for the occupational therapist that connection transcends to a different form. An occupational therapist can’t merely just connect; they must empathize with their clients and commit to understanding what it is they need to achieve.

When you try and speak the language of your clients, you go beyond the clinical definitions and textbooks and cut to the human aspect of the profession. When the occupational therapist develops the necessary treatments to enable a client to maintain a daily standard of living or graduate to a work level that is not only productive, but satisfying, the therapist has left a lasting impression on the client – and that impression can perhaps last a lifetime.

Because each client and each scenario is different, it is important to first get to know the problems surrounding each patient. Find Out…

  • What makes them tick?
  • What are their skills and weaknesses?
  • What is their ultimate goal?
  • How do they like to communicate?

It is also important to understand how to best interact with a particular client within the framework of those skills and goals. Plan out sessions utilizing fun and creative ways to stimulate their engagement; for instance teaching through games can help some clients learn faster.

Speaking the language of your clients enables you to see the world through their eyes: What discourages them? What makes them happy? Establishing a set of guidelines to follow with every individual and performing an assessment of who that person is, their likes, dislikes, goals and strengths, helps you communicate with each client how they want to be communicated to.

Learning to speak the language of each individual that enters your life helps you leave a longer, more lasting impression and ultimately speeds up their time to live a better life.

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