One of the driving forces behind the formation of the occupational therapy profession was the Arts and Crafts Movement in which the value of engaging mind and body in creating was recognized. In the early years of the profession arts and crafts, and other creative occupations, were used with patients. For example, Susan Tracy one of the founders of occupational therapy in the USA, had returned soldiers making cane seating, slippers, purses, lamp shade and other item even when unable to get out of bed. Due to this strong role in our history many occupational therapy educational programs included arts and crafts classes, so that future therapists could enable their clients to engage in creative occupations. I remember doing one course for a whole academic year which included macramé, woodwork, collage, making resin paperweights, weaving and many other creative occupations. Despite the historical connection to arts and crafts and growing evidence of the benefits of such occupations for health, the use of arts and crafts in occupational therapy has declined. Why has this happened and what are the implications for this? To help you prepare for our tweet chat here are a few questions to ponder… • What place do arts and crafts have in 21st Century occupational therapy education and practice? • What are the benefits of engaging in arts and crafts? • Is occupational therapy embarrassed of our creative past? Why? • What is your own experience of arts and crafts as a student, therapist, assistant or client? Professor Matthew Molineux, PhD Head of Occupational Therapy, School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Australia
This Month OTalk2US will be hosting additional chats.
Sunday April 6th – Allison Sullivan will be reporting from AOTA2014
Sunday April 13th – Frank Gainer – AOTA 2014 conference summary
Sunday April 27th – Matthew Molinuex
All chats held at 7pm EST.