The Use of Psychological Therapies by Mental Health Occupational Therapists and the Impact on Professional Identity: An Exploratory Study Using Focus Groups

Article excerpt

The use of psychological therapies by mental health occupational therapists and the impact on professional identity: an exploratory study using focus groups.

Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh, 2008. MSc in Occupational Therapy.

The use of psychological therapies is becoming increasingly common among occupational therapists working in mental health settings. Personal accounts suggest that therapists find their use satisfying and beneficial in their clinical practice. However, concerns are raised in the literature that their use, along with other generic interventions, may lead to a loss of professional identity and threaten the future of the profession. To date these concerns have been no more than speculation.

This dissertation presents a small qualitative study using focus groups, which aims to address the lack of knowledge in this area. It explores three main topics: the use of psychological therapies by mental health occupational therapists, the impact on the professional identity of those that use them and the wider implications for the occupational therapy profession. A literature review sets the background for the research, highlighting the need for a study that directly addresses the use of psychological therapies by occupational therapists. …