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Personal Philosophies Of An Occupational Therapist

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Most of my professional life to date has focused on working with people with disabilities and in helping them identify and achieve their goals. As an occupational therapist, I had coursework in psychology, but no formal training in counseling. My ability to help my patients reach their highest potential really depended on my professional relationship, or what as therapists we referred to as “therapeutic use of self”. I certainly learned and used specific techniques and assessments over the years to help me achieve better outcomes, but never identified with any specific theory as the framework of my interactions. I recognize there were times when my personality and my skills were a great match and other times when I felt like I just couldn’t figure out the right approach. Thankfully for much of my career, I worked with an interdisciplinary team that included some very skilled psychologists, so I always had the ability to consult.

Based on my past experience and a review of this week’s reading, I believe the theories that best fit with my personal philosophies are the Person-centered therapy and Existential therapy. As Experiential and Relationship-Oriented Therapies, these theories share some key concepts that really fit with how I see my role in the therapeutic relationship and what I believe about personal power and change.

Both of the selected theories place high importance on the relationship between the counselor and client. Given that research indicates
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